Ed Team

Read Between the Lines: Daniels says "No" to Statewide Non-Discrimination

Filed By Ed Team | October 16, 2005 10:50 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
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If I were to give Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels a grade based on his civil rights record up to this point, he would have earned a solid "B" in my book.

The next grading period is suddenly not looking good at all for Daniels.

Given the opportunity to call on the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council to reconsider the failed Human Rights Ordinance Amendment, which would have banned discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, he declined, telling the Indianapolis Star,"I think private associations, private businesses ought to be left alone to make their own decisions within the existing civil rights statutes."

Then he drops the big one: "Communities ought to be left a free hand to decide what rules they want to live under, at least within the framework of the national civil rights statute and the Constitution. I'd leave that up to Marion County, but I'd be reluctant to see that imposed top-down on the whole state or all citizens."

Until now, Daniels has remained non-committal on amending Indiana's civil rights law to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the list of people protected from discrimination in employment, housing, education, and other matters of public life. Based on his record to this point, many of us have remained optimistic that Daniels would come down on the side of fairness.

While he doesn't specifically mention any statewide legislation, one would surmise from his statement the he has in effect announced opposition to amending the state's civil rights code, believing such things should instead be left up to local communities (I'm sure my Greenwood City Council will be getting right on that).

If Daniels has indeed officially announced that he does not support amending Indiana's civil rights code as proposed by Indiana Equality, the GLBT community needs to react accordingly.

I think Governor Daniels has some 'splainin' to do.


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AUTHOR: Bil Browning

DATE: 10/17/2005 12:51:52 AM

Daniels seems to have managed to piss just about everyone off during his time in office. From state workers to union members, blue-collar and white collar, conservative and liberal. It sadly seems to show a swerve in the direction of the right. Although, if you remember I asked Governor Daniels directly during the Q&A he had with the gay community when he was still a candidate, "Will you enact civil rights for gays and lesbians?" and he said "No." Not that I think Kernan would have expanded the civil rights code either, but I know he would have lobbied the Indy City-County Council on our behalf.How disappointing of Daniels. I'd actually started to hold out hope for the guy.


AUTHOR: Randy

DATE: 10/17/2005 11:12:57 AM

I was totally stunned to read that quote in Sunday's paper. While I hardly expected Daniels to be out front waving the rainbow flag on the barricades, I did expect his quiet behind the scenes support. Maybe he is just trying to shore up his conservative base, as we head into a new primary/ elction season, but he needs to remember that WE WILL NOT BE USED!I DO believe that sexual orientation and gender identity will be included in Indiana's Civil Rights Code .. AND that Indidanpolis will have SO and GI in their HRO. But man, this progress seems painfully slow.Lord, give me the strength to hold out one more day.


AUTHOR: Jaylefus

DATE: 10/17/2005 12:04:07 PM

"I think private associations, private businesses ought to be left alone to make their own decisions within the existing civil rights statutes."Wow! This is the same argument Gov. Wallace made when he opposed integrating lunch counters in Birmingham, and this is the same argument Gov. Ross Barnett made when he vowed to uphold segregation in Mississippi. The only differences seems to be that the Governors of Alabama and Mississippi were Democrats, and that that was about race, and not about sexual identity or orientation. I hope this does not mean that Indiana is on track to become the Mississippi of the 21st century.


AUTHOR: Advance Indiana

DATE: 10/17/2005 04:03:20 PM

It's bad enough that he said he would oppose a federal or state civil rights law for gays, but he even under-mined the argument for passing an HRO for Indianapolis by saying he thought private businesses should be allowed to decide for themselves. When Scott Keller asks for a Republican council member's vote, he/she can say that Governor Daniels said it should be left to private employers to decide. In that sense, what he said could not have been worse. He really has erased virtually all the inroads he made in the GLBT community in one fell swoop.Gary