Even absent the new “Religious Freedom” law, discrimination against LGBT people is legal in most of Indiana.
The growing backlash against the law Pence built prompted Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) and House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) to hold a press conference where it was pointed out that yes, even before the state’s License to Discriminate act, it was perfectly legal to discriminate in the state.
The two Republican lawmakers said that they had planned to clarify that the new law doesn’t allow businesses to deny services to LGBT people on “religious” grounds, when a reporter raised the fact that a state law that prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity does not exist.
The reporter asked the two lawmakers if, “You guys have said repeatedly that we shouldn’t be able to discriminate against anyone, but if you just ignore the existence of this law, can’t we already do that now? Can’t so-and-so in Richmond put a sign up and say ‘No Gays Allowed?’ That’s not against the law, correct?
Bosma noted that it would “depend” on where you were, and if that community had a human rights ordinance: “It would depend. If you were in a community that had a human rights ordinance that wouldn’t be the case.”
The reporter pressed on, noting that, “most of the state does not have [a human rights ordinance], correct?”
So, just for the record, the bigots in this state didn’t need this law. They wanted it just because they could have it, I guess.
Human Rights Campaign notes that only four cities in the whole state prohibit discrimination against LGBT people – Bloomington, Evansville, Indianapolis, and South Bend, along with two counties: Marion County and Monroe County.