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Lawmakers, Advocates Celebrate Inaugural LGBTQ Statehouse Day

Lauren Chapman
IPB News

Hoosiers gathered from across the state for the first LGBTQ Statehouse Day. A group from the ACLU of Indiana, who organized the event, spent the day speaking to lawmakers about trans issues.

Kit Malone has been an advocate for the last five years. 

“In a time, when trans people are increasingly under attack, both locally and nationally, we want to make sure our lawmakers see that we’re real people,” Malone says.

Malone says her logic is simple: once lawmakers and other Hoosiers meet and interact with trans people, it’s harder to see them as a threat. 

In addition to statewide organizations providing resources, several lawmakers spoke, recommitting themselves to LGBTQ issues at the Statehouse.

Indiana’s first out LGBTQ state legislator, Sen. J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) spoke at the event. 

“We have to keep fighting. Just because we got marriage equality–don’t get me wrong, that is a huge win for our community. But we’ve got to keep fighting," Ford says. "You can get married over the weekend and be terminated from your job on Monday simply because of who you are and who you love.”

While the majority of the lawmakers were Democrats, Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) also addressed the crowd, celebrating the defeat of a measure that would restrict gender identity on drivers licenses.

“This bill, as of last week, is dead,” Alting says. "I killed it."

Another Republican lawmaker, Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) celebrated the continued momentum of legislation to help modernize references to HIV in Indiana law.

Contact Lauren at lchapman@wfyi.org or follow her on Twitter at @laurenechapman_.