Civil rights discussion at the Statehouse

INDIANAPOLIS -- Governor Pence says he expects to address the issue of changing the state's civil rights law when he delivers his State of the State address on January 12.

Senate President David Long and another Republican have proposed adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's civil rights laws, while carving out exemptions for ministers and religious organizations.

Long says lawmakers will likely discuss the bill later this month, but says he doesn't have consensus on the issue within his party.

Rep. Bruce Borders is questioning the constitutionality of the measure.

He says he's concerned the proposal doesn't protect business owners, and he's asking the attorney general to review it based on a suggestion from the Indiana Family Institute.

"When we say we want to be a business friendly state, what's to stop, for example, a man to go into a ladies' restroom and say, well today, I'm a woman, and I feel like I've been going through this process or this mental change or whatever," said Rep. Bruce Borders, (R) Jasonville.

"It's important that we have the discussion in Indiana I think after what we went through earlier this year. We need to have the discussion. Where it goes is anybody's guess. We're not asking anyone in our caucus to support it or oppose it, we're just simply saying vote your conscience," said Sen. David Long, (R) Senate President.

Democrats are asking for statewide protections for the LGBT community without exception.


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