Gay rights bill aimed at ending discrimination in Indiana scrapped
The bill – that would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation – has been thrown out.
Senate Bill 344 – which nominally protected LGBT civilians from being discriminated against due to their sexuality – was withdrawn from the state legislature just before going to a vote on Tuesday (February 2).
Senator Travis Holdman, who sponsored the bill, said he was “greatly disappointed.”
“It has has become clear the bill lacks the support to advance in the senate any further,” he said.
“As a result, I will not be calling for a vote.”
Lawmakers failed to reach a compromise between LGBT rights and “religious freedom,” explained Senator David Long, adding that they abandoned all attempts to pass a gay rights bill this legislative year.
“We took a beating from all sides in trying to do this,” he said.
“This effort was unfortunately hampered by well-organised extreme messaging from groups representing both sides of this discussion — many of them from out of state.
“Neither of those sides were truly seeking a solution.”
A battle over LGBT protections and religious freedoms has been waged in Indiana, since Governor Mike Pence signed a bill protecting religious freedom last year.
Indiana came under fire after the Republican-controlled legislature passed a ‘religious freedom’ law permitting anti-gay discrimination based on religion.
The bill was feared by LGBT rights advocates, who said it might enable business owners to discriminate against LGBT people.
The owners of Memories Pizza in Walkerton added to growing hostility, by saying they would use the Act to refuse to serve pizza at a gay wedding.