INDIANAPOLIS — The Republican-controlled Tippecanoe County Board of Commissioners unanimously adopted an ordinance expanding nondiscrimination protections for transgender individuals county-wide.
“Today’s vote highlights our Hoosier values,” Chris Paulsen of Freedom Indiana said. “No one should be denied services, housing or a job simply because of who they are, and the Tippecanoe County Board of Commissioners agrees.”
According to Commission vice chair John Metzinger, the ordinance was adopted because of the passage of the General Assembly’s discriminatory religious refusal bill, which legalized discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in Indiana.
“Those discussions were initiated as a result of what happened at the General Assembly at the state level where there was an attempt to pass bills that would prohibit localities from adopting this type of ordinance in the future,”Metzinger told WBAA, the local NPR affiliate. “So we felt there was an urgency for the county to take these actions.”
Freedom Indiana has continually fought to protect LGBT Hoosiers from discrimination at the state and local levels. While they are pleased with today’s vote, they aren’t claiming victory yet.
“Our ultimate goal is to ensure everyone in Indiana is protected from discrimination, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” Paulsen added. “It is our hope that as localities across the state adopt nondiscrimination protections, the legislature will do its part to ensure that Indiana is open and welcome to everyone, everywhere.”