Media lack evidence that LGBT measures bring jobs

Keywords Opinion

I wonder if any other readers were struck by the irony of IBJ’s Aug. 24 front-page article headlined “Suburbs winning the chase for high-end jobs” and the LGBT story that has dominated much of the news this year. The irony is that we have been regularly inundated with appeals from the media and certain politicians to quickly change or re-write anti-discrimination policies, with one of their leading arguments—businesses won’t want to do business or cannot recruit adequately for high-end jobs if we don’t make widespread changes for “LBGT-approving” legislation. Both IBJ and Indy Star editorial boards have made these arguments.

However, IBJ’s front-page article flies directly in the face of these business arguments. As quoted, the city of Indianapolis, which already has anti-discrimination protections for LGBT, has seen reductions in both high-tech jobs and highly educated workers. Ouch! Instead, the suburban counties that don’t have these laws in the books are growing in both sectors and are continuing to do so. Go figure. In many instances, these counties are booming (both residentially and business-wise). Our state as a whole has less than 5-percent unemployment! No doubt we have work to do as a state, but there are still blue skies!

Eli Lilly and Co., an outspoken advocate for LGBT-related legislation issues and [which] has used the business argument many times this year, trimmed more than 2,000 workers from its Indianapolis workforce (where the LGBT anti-discrimination laws already are in effect). Where’s the common sense to put the pieces together from this and other research quoted in the article? It’s unfortunate that IBJ’s reporting and editing isn’t nearly as concerned with journalism integrity to make this connection and report the obvious with such a promoted topic by the local media.

This is not an anti-discrimination letter. In fact, I support legislation that protects people with various types of adult relationships—for insurance, benefits and health care purposes, etc. It’s more about journalism that doesn’t point out contradictions in mainstream news and the false narrative that is often portrayed by a left-wing media. Even with the “negative news” that our own local media likes to perpetrate about the RFRA impact, the state is enjoying record levels of individual employment and regular announcements of business investment and growth. Some big businesses might have made threats but they were pretty empty and hypocritical. C’mon IBJ, you can do better.

Lyle Coulter


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