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House Speaker Urges Civility During Upcoming LGBT Debate

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Photo: Jamison Wieser (Flickr)

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act has prompted lawmakers to consider whether it should be illegal to discriminate against LGBT people.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis says he will do everything in his power to ensure the legislature’s upcoming debate over LGBT civil rights is a respectful one.

Bosma says when the General Assembly was in the midst of the religious freedom controversy last session, Indiana was portrayed as an unwelcoming and discriminatory place. The Speaker says that isn’t true and urges people on both sides of the debate not to continue saying so, arguing it damages the state’s reputation.

“We need to remove, I think, that rhetoric, have the public policy discussion about whether it’s appropriate to join the minority of states in the union that have added the LGBT community in their civil rights statute and let that public policy stand on its own,” says Bosma.

Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, says he agrees that the people of Indiana are welcoming and accepting but says average Hoosiers aren’t the problem.

“The issue is whether the state as an institution is welcoming, whether it supports that attitude or not,” says Delaney. “And it seems that some members of the majority are hesitant to endorse the public’s acceptance of people.”

The General Assembly convenes its 2016 session on January 5th.

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