INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana House of Representatives rejected an amendment Thursday that would prevent discrimination in the workplace based on sexual orientation or gender identity.
It’s the latest round in the civil rights battle at the Statehouse and it means that super majority Republicans aren’t willing to accept even the most narrow of new civil rights protections, at least not this year.
Earlier attempts to create new protections applied to housing, employment and public accommodations.
The amendment authored by House Minority Leader Scott Pelath applied only to employment.
It was an effort to find Republican support for a measure that avoided the controversy caused by earlier proposals. Seven Republicans voted for it yet the House voted to defeat it on a vote of 35 to 59.
“We know where people as of today stand on the civil rights issue,” said Pelath, “and that’s important for economic development. We should keep working on it.”
House Speaker Brian Bosma says more Republicans would have voted for the amendment if it had been the subject of a public hearing.
“Do I think it’s productive to drag this out every day and put a stamp on it again?” he asked. “No, I don’t think it’s productive.”
Indiana Competes, a coalition of business leaders, issued a statement calling the vote a declaration that Indiana will continue to tolerate discrimination against the LGBT community.