Bil Browning

Indianapolis Business Journal on Proposition 622

Filed By Bil Browning | November 27, 2005 1:19 PM | comments

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The Indianapolis Business Journal has an article on Proposition 622 - the proposed update of the city's human rights ordinance to include sexual orientation and gender identity. Written by Bruce Hetrick, president and CEO of Hetrick Communications, an Indianapolis-based public relations and marketing communications firm, the commentary helps to illustrate the need for fairness and equality in our fair city.

Are people in our community discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity? Back in April, when Councilors voted 18-11 against this same ordinance, some said there wasn't a problem - at least among their constituents.

Some said there hadn't, after all, been lots of complaints filed - ignoring the fact that's it's difficult to file a complaint when there's no law under which to file it.

This time around, there appears to be plenty of evidence there's a problem.

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, a Republican, and Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, a Democrat, have issued executive orders saying their respective governments won't discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, also a Republican, issued a similar policy statement.

If the issue's relevant for government, you can bet it's relevant in the private sector, too. What's more, where there's discrimination, it usually transcends geographic boundaries. In fact, this time around, City-County councilors who've been willing have had a chance to meet with - or at least hear from - gay and transgender constituents in their districts who say there is, in fact, a problem.

But in reality, you don't need letter-writing, meetings or testimony to recognize prejudice. Any time you hear the phrase "those people," as in, "Those people don't need a special legal class" or "I don't approve of those people," you can hold this truth to be self-evident: There's a whole lottta discriminating going on.


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Bruce Parker II | November 27, 2005 7:41 PM

What a great piece. I wonder if they will do a story about the HRO? Seems like they are sympathitic to the degree that such a piece would be really informative and useful.

I think that it would incredibly helpful to publicly hear about some of the cases of discrimination that we and the councilors are already aware of.

I must admit, I wasn't expecting this kind of support from the Business Journal. It's refreshing to see a human rights issue addressed in a business forum. Protecting employees from discrimination makes business sense, after all.