Curious about the debate in Indiana over protecting gay and transgender Hoosiers under the state’s existing civil rights law?
An Indiana group that advocates on behalf of LGBT people has set up meetings across the state aimed at educating residents about updating the law, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of age, sex, race, ethnicity and religion, to include sexual orientation and gender identity.
Freedom Indiana will advocate for the changes when they are debated during the upcoming legislative session. They will host educational meetings next month in Indianapolis, Columbus, Terre Haute, Bloomington and Valparaiso.
The debate so far has been centered on how to balance individual civil rights with religious freedom—and was prompted by the backlash to the Religious Freedom Restoration Act championed in the last legislative session by Gov. Mike Pence . Senate Republicans have already put forward their version of a bill that prohibits discrimination in housing, education, public accommodations and employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
But the bill, which was criticized by some on the left for not going far enough and some conservative groups for going too far, has exceptions for religious organizations and some wedding industry vendors.
Information about the meetings is below. All times are local.
6 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 7
Bartholomew County Public Library
536 5th St.
6 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 8
Life Journey Church
2950 E. 55th Place
6 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 10
350 W. 11th St.
6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 14
Reiner Community Center
501 Union St.
6 to 7 p.m. Dec. 17
Vigo County Public Library, Room C
1 Library Square