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Legislation proposed in Indiana raises issues for LGBTQ supporters



Indianapolis, Indiana – A new measure in the Indiana House would change various state statutes that use the term “gender” to “biological sex.”

House Bill 1291 aims to remove the word “in certain statutes in which the term is used to describe the condition of being physically male or female.”

The legislation’s opponents said that it would put LGBTQ+ people in danger.

“It’s going to ‘out’ a lot of people,” said Chris Paulsen, the chief executive officer of Indiana Youth Group. “It also makes Indiana an unwelcoming place.”

Paulsen says attempting to remove the word “gender” from state statutes could be dangerous for transgender people. “We will be wasting all kinds of resources because a law like that will get challenged in the court, and once again Indiana will spend millions of dollars defending a law that probably is unconstitutional.”

Laws against discrimination and Indiana’s already unenforced legislation against same-sex marriage are two instances of how the state may alter.

The House bill would also change the requirements for state ID cards. Paulsen said, “This law means they would have to carry an ID with the sex they were assigned at birth, which is not the gender identity that they currently have, so it’s going to out a lot of people.”

Paulsen says advocates will continue to fight for LGBTQ+ people in Indiana. “There’s a group of LGBTQ organizations. We keep in close contact when the legislature is in session so we know what’s going on. We will continue the fight both against bad bills and then pushing for positive legislation for LGBTQ youth and young people.”

As of Tuesday night, lawmakers had not set a hearing date for the bill.