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LGBT rights supporters begin campaign in Indiana

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The anti-discrimination group Freedom Indiana launched a campaign Wednesday pushing for a new law giving equal rights and protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people statewide.

“No one is asking for special rights. We’re just asking lawmakers to ensure fair treatment of groups of citizens who have historically been treated unequally, and we hope they’ll act quickly in the upcoming session,” campaign manager Chris Paulsen said in a statement.

The campaign hopes to capitalize on the national uproar that erupted earlier this year when lawmakers and Republican Gov. Mike Pence approved a religious objections law. Many opponents felt the law could sanction discrimination against gays and lesbians.

Since then, several Indiana cities updated local ordinances to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Included among those cities is Pence’s hometown of Columbus, where the all-Republican City Council last week approved such protections.

Now Freedom Indiana is asking the Republican-led General Assembly to change the state’s civil rights laws to do the same.

The group is asking the legislature to add “sexual orientation, gender identity” to a state law that already grants protections based on race, gender, veteran status and religion.

“It’s an easy solution: four words and a comma,” Paulsen said.

Eric Miller, executive director of Advance America, a socially conservative advocacy group that has fought extending protections to LGBT people, said he couldn’t immediately comment on the campaign.

In an emailed statement, Pence spokeswoman Kara Brooks wouldn’t say where Pence stands on the proposal.

“The Governor is listening to people on all sides of the issue in order to determine how best to move forward,” Brooks wrote.

Source: South Bend Tribute

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