Bil Browning

IBJ Editorial Favors Prop 622

Filed By Bil Browning | December 04, 2005 3:24 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics

The Indianapolis Business Journal came out in favor of Proposition 622 this weekend. They join the Indianapolis Star in their support of the human rights ordinance.

It's time for Indianapolis to send a signal to the rest of the world that we're a tolerant community that welcomes all law-abiding people.

The City-County Council failed to roll out the red carpet last spring when it voted against updating the city's human rights ordinance to protect gay, lesbian and transgendered residents of Marion County from discrimination in jobs and housing based on their sexual orientation.

All but one Republican and a handful of Democrats voted against the updated ordinance. Since then, Gov. Mitch Daniels and Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi, both Republicans, have approved employment policies that support equal employment opportunity for all people regardless of sexual orientation, and Democrat Mayor Bart Peterson has issued an executive order prohibiting city government from discriminating based on sexual orientation.

The governor, mayor and prosecutor seem to realize the importance of equal treatment for all law-abiding citizens. Soon we'll find out if a majority of the 29-member City-County Council understands the same.

A new human rights ordinance, introduced Nov. 21 by Democratic Councilor Jackie Nytes and Republican Scott Keller, will be considered by a council committee the evening of Dec. 5 and could be voted on by the full Council before the end of the year.

Some councilors have suggested that sexual identity is a lifestyle choice and therefore shouldn't be protected. But that ignores the vast majority of the medical community, from the American Medical Association to the American Psychiatric Association, which long ago determined that genetics play a role in sexual identity.

Black, gay, white, disabled or left-handed, all of those who reside here should be protected from discrimination. It's a common-sense policy promoted by the governor, the mayor and corporate heavyweights, such as Eli Lilly Co. and WellPoint Inc. The council should join these community leaders and update the city's human rights ordinance.

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