Indiana Chamber to push for expanded civil rights law

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The Indiana Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday that its board of directors has voted "overwhelmingly" to support expanding the state’s civil rights law to include protection for sexual orientation and gender identity.

The board is comprised of more than 100 business executives and civic leaders from throughout the state.
“We believe this expansion is a necessary action for the General Assembly to take,” Indiana Chamber President and CEO Kevin Brinegar said in a written statement. “After the negative perception of our state generated by the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in the spring, we need to get this right in order to secure the reputation of Indiana as a hospitable and welcoming place."

The vote took place at the group's annual fall meeting, where the group establishes public policy positions it will support during the upcoming General Assembly.

"The time has come for Indiana to expand protections against potential discrimination," Brinegar said. "This action will increase the state’s future business competitiveness in the recruitment, attraction and retention of talent, as well as enhance respect for all employers and employees."

Gov. Mike Pence and some of his advisers have been discussing possible changes that will calm the debate between Hoosiers who want clear protections for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people and the religious community that wants the freedom to preserve its conservative principles.

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