The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana announced Thursday its statewide launch of the LGBTQ Rights Project, an initiative that encompasses current and future work to defend and advance the rights of LGBTQ Hoosiers.
“We have made great strides here in Indiana, but our work is far from done,” Jane Henegar, executive director of the ACLU of Indiana, said in a statement. “LGBTQ community members continue to face attacks on their constitutional rights by business owners, school administrations and elected officials across our state.
“Whether it be a transgender student’s right to use the correct restroom, or a couple’s right to purchase a wedding cake free from discrimination, we will continue to fight in court and in the statehouse for fairness and equality for all of our community,” Henegar said.
The project will focus on continuing to pursue the Transgender Education and Advocacy Program (TEAP), created in 2016 to create and promote statewide transgender education and activism. Project members will also continue advocacy work, such as urging the Indiana House of Representatives to vote against Senate Bill 65, which could prevent schools from discussing any LGBTQ issues without express written permission from parents.
“We are seeing attempts to use religion to discriminate, such as the recent Masterpiece Cakeshop ruling at the national level, and the 2015 Religious Freedom Restoration Act here in Indiana” Katie Blair, ACLU of Indiana advocacy director, said in a statement. “The LGBTQ Rights Project is fighting to ensure no member of our community faces discrimination based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.”
ACLU of Indiana has offered resources to defend LGBTQ civil liberties through advocacy, education and litigation since its inception in 1953.
At a national level, the ACLU brought its first LGBTQ rights case in 1936 and founded the LGBTQ Project in 1986.