State of Indiana Archives: on Civil Rights


Woody Myers: Fought to keep teenage boy with AIDS in school after banning

Woody made history when appointed as Indiana's youngest State Health Commissioner. Dr. Myers worked every day to improve maternal and child health, chronic disease control, childhood immunization, and preventive healthcare services. Woody helped make Indiana a leader in AIDS education and gained national recognition when he fought to keep Ryan White--a teenage boy with AIDS--in school when his school district banned him from attending classes following his diagnosis.
Source: 2020 Indiana gubernatorial campaign website DrWoodyMyers.com Dec 31, 2019

Eddie Melton: Will fight to enact state hate crimes law

When Republicans gutted the first chance at passing meaningful hate crimes legislation, they told Indiana and the rest of the country that our state does not protect its citizens. Eddie will continue to fight to ensure that every Hoosier no matter their race, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, gender or age, are protected and that crimes against someone due to their immutable characteristics are unacceptable and unwelcome in this state.
Source: 2020 Indiana Gubernatorial campaign website EddieMelton.com Dec 5, 2019

Eddie Melton: Endorsed by the Indiana Black Legislative Caucus PAC

"The Indiana Black Caucus PAC's mission is to work towards greater economic, educational and social opportunities for all residents of Indiana. Senator Melton is the embodiment of that effort. From his time as a social worker, serving the most vulnerable amongst us, to his legislative accomplishments of incentivizing job creation, and increasing educational funding, his thoughtful approach to bring all parties to the table to progress our shared goals, is a testament to his leadership."
Source: 2020 Indiana Gubernatorial campaign website EddieMelton.com Dec 5, 2019

Eric Holcomb: Calls for resignation of Indiana AG over harassment charge

Indiana's attorney general is facing allegations of sexual harassment and defamation in a federal lawsuit filed by four women who say he drunkenly groped them during a party last year. Attorney General Curtis Hill is accused of touching the backs or buttocks of Democratic Rep. Mara Candelaria Reardon of Munster and three legislative staffers. Hill has denied wrongdoing and rebuffed calls from Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and other state officials to resign.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle on 2020 Indiana gubernatorial race Jun 18, 2019

Eric Holcomb: Signed into law consolidation of minority precincts

In August 2017, Holcomb signed into law Senate Bill 220, which requires Lake County--home to the second largest African-American population and largest Latino population in the state--to consolidate polling locations that had 600 or fewer active voters assigned to that location as of November 1, 2016. Senate Bill 220 applies only to Lake County. Of 522 election precincts, more than half are at risk of consolidation that would cause:
Source: Eagle Country 99.3FM on 2020 Indiana gubernatorial race Apr 26, 2019

Eric Holcomb: Hate crimes not about thoughts, but about actions

Some conservatives argue that adopting a hate crime law would create a "protected" class of citizen. Another common refrain among lawmakers who oppose the idea is that it would target "thought crime." All crimes are bad, they say, regardless of what motivates them. Holcomb says "nothing could be further from the truth." "You want to have a moronic thought ... that's your right," he said. "But when it becomes a criminal action, you've crossed the line."
Source: WTHR 13 Indianapolis News on 2020 Indiana gubernatorial race Dec 15, 2018

Mike Braun: Traditional marriage should be between a man & a woman

Gay Issues: Support gay marriage? Allow business owners not to serve gay customers on religious grounds?

Braun: Traditional marriage should be between a man & a woman. Backed Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act, letting businesses deny services to gays.

Donnelly: Supports gay marriage after earlier opposition. "One of the best things we can do is to try & make everyone feel welcome."

Source: 2018 CampusElect.org Issue Guide on Indiana Senate race Nov 1, 2018

Eric Holcomb: Supports enacting hate crime laws

"No law can stop evil, but we should be clear that our state stands with the victims and their voices will not be silenced," the conservative governor claimed in a statement. "For that reason it is my intent that we get something done this next legislative session, so Indiana can be one of 46 states with hate crime legislation--and not one of five states without it."
Source: IntoMore.com blog on 2020 Indiana gubernatorial race Aug 7, 2018

Eric Holcomb: Now supports protecting sexual orientation, gender identity

The conservative once claimed LGBTQ rights are "not an issue [he's] focused on at all." A spokesperson for Holcomb confirmed the governor's support for an Indiana hate crime law would include protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Rachel Hoffmeyer, digital communications director for the governor said, "This reflects the governor's policy statement on affirmative action and workplace harassment prevention, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity."
Source: IntoMore.com blog on 2020 Indiana gubernatorial race Aug 7, 2018

Andrew Straw: Same-sex marriage is none of state's business

Q: Do you agree or disagree with the statement, "Comfortable with same-sex marriage"?

A: Agreed, but uncomfortable with the Supreme Court making radical shifts in constitutional policy in one generation. Stare decisis.

Q: The Supreme Court has indeed made a radical shift in constitutional policy in one generation--20 years ago, same-sex marriage was illegal in all 50 states, and now it's legal. So do you disagree with that radical shift?

A: I feel that marriage should not involve a state license. Why should a state be involved with marriage licenses? Once you take the state out of it, marriage can be done by anyone and it's totally the conscience of the married couple. I just don't feel like my opinion should matter at all. None of my business. None of the state's business.

Source: OnTheIssues follow-up with 2018 Indiana Senate candidate Mar 2, 2018

Andrew Straw: Gay marriage bans are like anti-miscegenation laws

Q: You say that same-sex marriage is none of your business and none of the state's business--what's the bottom line? Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry under current state and federal law?

A: If gay people want to marry and it makes them happy, they can find a celebrant and be married. Maybe they can announce it to the state when needed, but the state should not be choosing who can get married just like when states in the South had anti-miscegenation laws. Disabled people have been restricted also and even worse, sterilized. Indiana was the first place to sterilize disabled people. When I think of family matters, I think private and I wish the state and federal governments would move in the direction of protecting people's privacy. Civil rights laws should protect gay people like they do race and gender and disability, etc.

Source: OnTheIssues follow-up with 2018 Indiana Senate candidate Mar 2, 2018

Andrew Straw: Incentives to hire qualified women into management

Q: Do you agree or disagree with the statement, "Legally require hiring more women/minorities"?

A: Oppose discriminating against men, who are a minority, to benefit women, who are the majority. Support financial incentives for businesses to hire more qualified women and advance them to top management when they are qualified.

Source: OnTheIssues interview of 2018 Indiana Senate candidate Feb 28, 2018

Jim Banks: Let businesses express traditional religious values

The past year has been rife with stories of Americans who want nothing more than to run their business in a manner consistent with their personal values, but we see time and time again how those values are under attack by those who will accept nothing less than compliance with their point of view, no matter how out of line it is with the values of some individuals or business owners.

Jim Banks believes that this issue will unequivocally be one of the defining issues of his lifetime as religious institutions, private organizations and businesses face increased scrutiny and zealous regulation designed to bring them in line with views that are directly opposed to their deeply-held personal values.

Hoosiers who value their religious freedom need to send someone to Washington who will fight to protect their values and not back down when there is a challenge to these important First Amendment freedoms. We can't afford to sacrifice this important founding principle on the altar of relativism.

Source: 2016 Indiana House campaign website JimBanks.us Nov 8, 2016

Mike Pence: Pro-business environment better for wages than equal pay

Hoosier women earn about 73 cents for every dollar men make for the same work, and the poverty rate for women and girls in Indiana is nearly 17 percent. Mike Pence says he believes the way to address income disparity is to promote economic growth. "Creating an environment that encourages more investment, more job opportunities for Hoosiers is the best pathway forward toward increasing personal income for men and women in Indiana," he says.
Source: Howey politics on 2016 Indiana gubernatorial race Jul 15, 2016

Mike Pence: Opposes pay equity; close wage gap by growing economy

Pence said he wanted women to make every bit as much as men, and said the way to close Indiana's wage gap was through growing the economy. In this legislative session, House Democrats offered an amendment creating a commission to study pay disparity, but it was blocked by Republicans. Governor Mike Pence says he believes the way to address income disparity is to promote economic growth: "Creating an environment that encourages more investment, more job opportunities for Hoosiers is the best pathway forward toward increasing personal income for men and women in Indiana," he says. [Howey Politics, 4/9/2014]
Source: INDems.org & Howey politics: 2016 Indiana gubernatorial race Apr 15, 2016

Joe Donnelly: Protect LGBT Hoosiers from discrimination

Today, U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly released the following statement after the Indiana Senate decided not to advance anti-discrimination protections for LGBT Hoosiers, effectively ending the debate on this issue during this legislative session in the Statehouse. The Senate faces a Wednesday deadline to send legislative proposals to the Indiana House.

Donnelly said, "It is disappointing that the Indiana legislature has failed to act to protect LGBT Hoosiers from discrimination. Surely we can agree that it is important for all Hoosiers to feel welcome in our state and for Indiana to be an attractive home to the businesses that create jobs and opportunities for our families. I remain hopeful that ultimately we will unite around civil rights protections for all Hoosiers."

Source: Press release, "LGBT Hoosiers" on 2018 Indiana Senate race Feb 2, 2016

John Gregg: Supports equal pay for equal work

In the last campaign, we talked about leveling the playing field and eliminating the pay gap. However, since that time, Governor Pence has done nothing and the problem has gotten worse. As governor, this will be a priority in my administration. I will lead by example and will work with the public, private and non-profit sectors to take this disparity head on.
Source: 2016 Indiana Governor campaign website GreggForGovernor.com Jan 12, 2016

John Gregg: Civil rights statute should support sexual orientation

Mike Pence has proven he's just an officeholder, not a leader. On issue after issue critical to the state of Indiana, he passes the buck. His refusal to take a stand for equality is unconscionable given the fact that he created this mess, which continues to damage Indiana's economy and reputation. I encourage Governor Pence to join me in supporting updating our civil rights statute to include sexual orientation and gender identity so Indiana can begin to move forward again.
Source: 2016 Indiana Governor campaign website GreggForGovernor.com Jan 12, 2016

Mike Pence: Civil rights must be balanced with religious freedom

Should full civil rights protections on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity be extended? No one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love, or what they believe. But Hoosiers also cherish faith and the freedom to live out their faith and I will not support any bill that diminishes the religious freedom of Hoosiers or that interferes with the Constitutional rights of our citizens to live out their beliefs in worship, service or work.
Source: 2016 State of the State speech to Indiana legislature Jan 12, 2016

John Gregg: Supports the legality of gay marriage in Indiana

He fully sup-ports re-peal-ing RFRA, the re-li-gious free-dom bill. In In-di-ana the law of the land is to al-low same-sex mar-riage, and he sup-ports that, and as gov-ernor he's not go-ing to fo-cus on so-cial is-sues, he's mov-ing ahead.
Source: National Journal on 2016 Indiana Gubernatorial race Dec 20, 2015

Eric Holcomb: Supportive of the LGBT community: zero discrimination

Holcomb said about his two opponents Stutzman and Young, "We want to make sure people understand two of these candidates want to shut down the government; one of them has said he won't do that. Two of these candidates are not supportive of the LGBT community; one of them is. Two of these candidates are very xenophobic on immigration policy; one of them isn't."

Holcomb said he doesn't support efforts to shut down the government, believes securing the border should be a priority, and has a zero-tolerance policy on discrimination. But he declined to take a position on whether civil rights protections for LGBT people should extend to public accommodations. "Anyone that's worked for me or with me will say I can work with people who come from very diverse perspectives. I've always tried to approach these hard issues that need to be solved with consensus," he said.

Source: Chicago Tribune on 2016 Indiana Senate race Nov 10, 2015

Mike Pence: Listen to the merits of debate on LGBT rights

Civil rights expansion: This is the elephant on the table. All sides are digging in. This creates a situation where either Gov. Pence, Speaker Brian Bosma or Senate President David Long will have to take the lead. Pence is playing his cards close to the vest. He has repeatedly said that he will listen to the "merits" of the coming, noisy debate as Freedom Indiana and the Indiana Pastors Alliance will hold dueling demonstrations during legislative Organization Day in November.

This is a policy and political gauntlet for Gov. Pence. He will have to be adroit and communicate well, or he faces the prospect of being a one-term governor. It's time for statewide non-discrimination protections for LGBT Hoosiers!

Source: Kokomo Perspective on 2016 Indiana Gubernatorial race Oct 24, 2015

John Gregg: Protect LGBT rights; religious rights are already protected

The Religious Freedom Restoration Act was designed to keep local and state laws from "substantially burdening" the deeply-held religious principles of individuals, businesses or religious institutions.

Gregg doesn't see it that way. He feels the bill was a play to stir up the hardcore right-wing base. It painted the state in a negative light, something which could have economic repercussions for years to come. "We will never know the dollar loss that that has cost, and is costing and will cost us," he said. "A person that books acts at one of Indiana's largest public universities, told me that groups did not want to come to Indiana because we did not have an LGBT statute."

Both sides of the issue deserve to be heard, Gregg said, but the First Amendment gives all the right and freedom to worship as they choose, and the extra legislation was unnecessary.

Gregg says the only social issue-related bill he wouldn't veto was adding protections for the LGBT community to a civil rights statute.

Source: Kokomo Tribune on 2016 Indiana Gubernatorial race Sep 24, 2015

Mike Pence: Religious Freedom Act is not about LGBT discrimination

The most hot-button issue of all during the 2015 General Assembly, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, was signed in March. Proponents of the bill said it was designed to keep local and state laws from "substantially burdening" the deeply-held religious principles of individuals, businesses or religious institutions. Those against the bill felt it opened a Pandora's box for discrimination against minorities, especially the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered) community.

"This bill is not about discrimination, and if I thought it legalized discrimination in any way in Indiana, I would have vetoed it," Pence said at the time. "In fact, it does not even apply to disputes between private parties unless government action is involved. For more than 20 years, the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act has never undermined our nation's anti-discrimination laws, and it will not in Indiana."

Source: Kokomo Tribune on Indiana Voting Records for bill SB101 Sep 24, 2015

John Gregg: 2012: No same-sex marriage; 2015: marriage & more for LGBT

Gov. Pence as an incumbent now has a track record to defend. That gives Gregg the opportunity to point out one of Pence's main vulnerabilities--his handling of the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which some considered to be a direct slap at lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Hoosiers.

Yet, on gay rights, Gregg's evolving opinion on the issue may become a challenge with more progressive members of the Democratic Party. In 2012, Gregg opposed same-sex marriage. But this summer, not only did he express support for the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage across the country, he also is in favor of expanding Civil Rights protections for LGBT Hoosiers.

Source: Indy Star on 2016 Indiana gubernatorial race Aug 24, 2015

Baron Hill: 2006: Marriage is sacred; 2015: guarantee marriage equality

Baron Hill is casting himself as a champion of gay rights, in an attempt to shift away from the anti-marriage equality image he had during his previous stint in Congress. "Marriage equality is especially close to my own heart," said Hill in an email to supporters. "In 2004, I voted against the Constitutional Amendment banning marriage equality. I'm proud of Hoosiers who are fighting to make sure our friends and neighbors are guaranteed equal rights."

During his final years in Congress, in 2011, the pro-LGBT Human Rights Campaign gave Hill a 70% rating on issues of equality. Though Hill did oppose amending the Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, he didn't exactly champion the right for same-sex couples to wed either. In fact, he campaigned against it. During his 2006 re-election campaign, Hill ran an ad in which he said that "marriage between a man and woman is sacred." But support for same-sex marriage has become significantly more mainstream since Hill's time in office.

Source: Huffington Post on 2016 Indiana Senate race Jun 19, 2015

Baron Hill: For ENDA & against DADT & in Congress; evolved on marriage

Baron Hill's campaign said in a statement that Hill had evolved on the issue of same-sex marriage over time. In addition to touting his opposition to the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage and support for DADT repeal, the campaign pointed out that he voted for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act--which would bar workplace discrimination against LGBT people--in 2010.

"Baron is proud to support marriage equality--bottom line, everyone deserves equal rights," the statement read, adding, "Like many Americans, Baron's personal views have continued to evolve on this issue and he feels strongly that no Hoosier should be made to feel less equal because of who they love."

LGBT equality has been a hot topic in Indiana since Gov. Mike Pence (R) signed a so-called religious freedom law that could have allowed businesses to deny service to same-sex couples. After significant national backlash, Pence signed a revised version of the measure.

Source: Huffington Post on 2016 Indiana Senate race Jun 19, 2015

John Gregg: Hoosiers welcome others inclusively; RFRA is divisive

While Pence has been focused on social issues like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) that Gregg says can divide Indiana, the Democrat candidate said he is all about jobs, education and infrastructure. "Indiana's about being inclusive and welcoming all peoples whether we agree with them, look like them, act like them or anything. That's Hoosier hospitality," Gregg added. Indiana is not about the RFRA "that wasn't even necessary" or any [other similar] social initiatives, Gregg said.
Source: Banner-Graphic coverage of 2016 Indiana gubernatorial race Jun 14, 2015

John Gregg: Sexual orientation & gender identity are civil rights issues

Two social issues he is pushing. The first is full repeal of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. When I suggested that the last thing Indiana needs is Round 2 of RFRA, Gregg insisted that there's strong support for repeal around the state. The second social issue that Gregg plans to champion is the addition of sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's civil rights law.
Source: Indianapolis Star on 2016 Indiana Gubernatorial race May 13, 2015

Brian Bosma: No civil unions; no gay marriage

Q: Should marriage only be between one man and one woman?

A: Yes.

Q: Should same-sex couples be allowed to form civil unions?

A: No.

Q: Do you support the inclusion of sexual orientation in Indiana's anti-discrimination laws?

A: No.

Q: Do you support the inclusion of gender identity in Indiana's anti-discrimination laws?

A: No.

Bosma adds, "Unmarried couples have adequate protection under Indiana's current health and property transfer laws, and I support the rights of unmarried couples to contract as they choose regarding the same without reference to their sexual orientation or gender."

Source: Indiana Gubernatorial 2012 PVS Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2012

Joe Donnelly: Opposes same sex marriage

The President's support of same sex marriage is forcing Indiana politicians to make their feelings known on the issue and it's a problem for some Indiana Democrats. Same sex marriage is not a winning issue in Indiana.

Republican opposition to same sex marriage is shared by Democrat Joe Donnelly. Nevertheless, look for Democratic candidates to reach out to gay voters with calls for a new hate crime laws and other positions that are less polarizing than the support of same sex marriage.

Source: Jim Shella, WISH-TV-8, on 2012 Indiana Senate debates Apr 11, 2012

Mitch Daniels: No same-sex marriage nor civil unions

Q: Should Indiana recognize civil unions between same-sex couples?

A: No.

Q: Should same-sex couples be allowed to marry?

A: No.

Q: Should Indiana provide state-level spousal rights to same-sex couples?

A: No.

Source: Indiana Gubernatorial Election 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

Mitch Daniels: No affirmative action in public college admissions

Q: Should the state government consider race and gender in state government contracting and hiring decisions?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support affirmative action in public college admissions?

A: No.

Source: Indiana Gubernatorial Election 2008 Political Courage Test Nov 1, 2008

  • The above quotations are from State of Indiana Politicians: Archives.
  • Click here for definitions & background information on Civil Rights.
  • Click here for other issues (main summary page).
2020 Presidential contenders on Civil Rights:
  Democrats running for President:
Sen.Michael Bennet (D-CO)
V.P.Joe Biden (D-DE)
Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I-NYC)
Gov.Steve Bullock (D-MT)
Mayor Pete Buttigieg (D-IN)
Sen.Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Secy.Julian Castro (D-TX)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Rep.John Delaney (D-MD)
Rep.Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI)
Sen.Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)
Gov.Deval Patrick (D-MA)
Sen.Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
CEO Tom Steyer (D-CA)
Sen.Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
Marianne Williamson (D-CA)
CEO Andrew Yang (D-NY)

2020 Third Party Candidates:
Rep.Justin Amash (L-MI)
CEO Don Blankenship (C-WV)
Gov.Lincoln Chafee (L-RI)
Howie Hawkins (G-NY)
Gov.Gary Johnson(L-NM)
Howard Schultz(I-WA)
Gov.Jesse Ventura (I-MN)
Republicans running for President:
Sen.Ted Cruz(R-TX)
Gov.Larry Hogan (R-MD)
Gov.John Kasich(R-OH)
V.P.Mike Pence(R-IN)
Gov.Mark Sanford (R-SC)
Pres.Donald Trump(R-NY)
Rep.Joe Walsh (R-IL)
Gov.Bill Weld(R-MA & L-NY)

2020 Withdrawn Democratic Candidates:
Sen.Stacey Abrams (D-GA)
Mayor Bill de Blasio (D-NYC)
Sen.Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Sen.Mike Gravel (D-AK)
Sen.Kamala Harris (D-CA)
Gov.John Hickenlooper (D-CO)
Gov.Jay Inslee (D-WA)
Mayor Wayne Messam (D-FL)
Rep.Seth Moulton (D-MA)
Rep.Beto O`Rourke (D-TX)
Rep.Tim Ryan (D-CA)
Adm.Joe Sestak (D-PA)
Rep.Eric Swalwell (D-CA)
Please consider a donation to OnTheIssues.org!
Click for details -- or send donations to:
1770 Mass Ave. #630, Cambridge MA 02140
E-mail: submit@OnTheIssues.org
(We rely on your support!)

Page last updated: Jan 28, 2021