Business Owners across Indiana Want LGBT Protections


Holcomb: “not optimistic” about furthering rights for LGBT Hoosiers

INDIANAPOLIS – Hoosier Business owners want to see the LGBT community have the equal protections they deserve. Yet, Eric Holcomb wants nothing to do with it. In fact, Holcomb not only felt like RFRA “struck the right tone,” but he feels it’s “not optimistic” to think about securing equal protections for LGBT Hoosiers.

Tell that to Hoosiers and businesses across Indiana. RFRA brought a $250 million economic panic to the state, Indianapolis lost $60 million and twelve conventions in tourism revenue, and the state’s “Hoosier Hospitality” reputation was forever damaged.

But don’t take our word for it. Check out what business owners had to say about their support for LGBT rights for Hoosiers.

The statewide support to prohibit discrimination is so important because even the perception of intolerance can be devastating to Indiana’s reputation. It is legal to discriminate in Indiana, and it shouldn’t be. We cannot be viewed as a state that permits discrimination because most businesses have no tolerance for intolerance.” – said Kassy Lauer, Evansville’s Toast [Lebanon Reporter, 12.18.15]

“Tamzin Malone, owner of Main Street Books in Lafayette, said her family had reservations four years ago about moving to Indiana from Alaska because her daughter is gay. The protections already afforded to sexual minorities in Tippecanoe County swayed her to move here, which is why she wants the state to adopt similar protections, she said.” – [Lafayette Journal & Courier, 12.04.15]

“We need a non-discrimination statute that is fully inclusive and ensures that people are treated equally under state law.” – Marya Rose, Cummins [CBS 4, 12.02.15]

“The NCAA national office in Indianapolis supports making Indiana a welcoming and inclusive place for people to work, live and enjoy.” said Bernard Franklin, NCAA [Lebanon Reporter, 12.18.15]

“Our businesses are better able to compete in a global economy if we have a reputation as a state that is inclusive.” – Michael Huber, Indy Chamber [Eagle Country Online, 12.03.15]

The brand of our company is associated with the brand of Indiana and so as we sell outside the state, the brand of Indiana impacts us.” Doug Dayhoff, Upland Brewing President [CBS 4, 12.02.15]

I know what injustice feels like. As a state and as a country, we must learn to accept each other’s differences.” – Nena Strickland, Century Homes Realty [Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, 12.09.15]

“I happen to be a business owner, and I have always maintained my moral compass with what I do in my business with my employees and customers, so this not a big shift for me as it is being vocal and saying that South Bend is a welcoming community.” – Peg Dalton, Le Peep Restaurant [South Bend Tribune, 12.02.15]

Indiana is known for their hospitality. We have to keep that exalted, and we have to work really hard. All of us, small businesses and big businesses, in welcoming people and respecting all genders, all races, and just to be treated as a human being first.” – Tony Henry, Deer Park Irish Pub [WANE, 12.08.15]

“We’re in Fort Wayne, but we do business throughout the state of Indiana and we have an office in Indianapolis. When we recruit new employees from many states away, they look at the markets we’re in and they want to know if these are warm and welcoming cities. We’d like to think that Indiana is, and we know Fort Wayne is. But, the way to make it where it’s not a question at all is to get RFRA done and put behind us and move on.” – Tim Borne, CEO of Asher Agency [WANE, 12.08.15]

“People’s impression of people in Indiana as a whole affects their impression of Indianapolis.” She explained her concerns especially for larger employers in the city.” – Kristin Kohn, Silver in the City [Indiana Competes]

“In early 2015, Robert Goodman Jewelers was one of the first businesses in Zionsville to post an “Open for Service” sticker on its storefront, a sticker that indicated the business was welcoming to all people. […]The bottom line, Bob knows, is that discrimination is bad for business…” [Indiana Competes]


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