Indiana businesses urge Congress to embrace LGBTQ protections

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – More than 100 Indiana businesses are urging Congress to pass Senate-blocked legislation that would extend federal civil rights protections to LGBTQ people, saying in a letter that “discrimination is bad for business.”

Leading companies such as Eli Lilly and Co., Cummins Inc., Roche Diagnostics, and Salesforce are among the Indiana companies that signed the letter calling for the equality law to be passed. The Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Indiana Chamber and some small businesses have also signed it.

Although large corporations often lobby and contribute to federal campaigns, the letter signals rare concerted public effort by a coalition of Indiana businesses to affect federal politics, The Indianapolis Star reported. Hundreds of other companies across the country, including dozens of Fortune 500 companies, also support the legislation.

“Indiana is the home of Hoosier hospitality. Whether we recruit new employers or organize March Madness, we welcome everyone, ”the letter reads. “That is why, as members of the Indiana business community, we urge Congress to pass Equality Act to ensure that all Americans are treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their orientation.” sexuality or their gender identity. “

Indiana businesses tried to push for LGBTQ protection in a state hate crimes bill in 2019, but what was signed into the law fell short of their expectations.

In February, the equality law was passed in the House largely by a party line vote and has so far been stuck in the divided Senate. Indiana Senator Mike Braun and other Senate Republicans have argued that the bill could lead to inequalities in athletics.

“The most alarming are the consequences this bill will have for children. Schools would be forced to allow biologically male students to compete with girls in sport, destroying the idea of ​​female sport entirely and depriving young women of athletic scholarships, ”Braun wrote in an editorial in April.

Supporters of the law call this an inaccurate portrayal of the bill and have said it will not affect who can participate in women’s sports.

In their letter, the Indiana businesses wrote urging passage of the bill, “From our perspective, discrimination is bad for business.

“In order to attract and retain the best talent, we need all states, including Hoosier State, to be welcoming and tolerant of all. It’s not just the right thing to do – it’s also just economically logical, ”the letter said.

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