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.