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Proposed Indiana legislation concerns LGBTQ advocates

Proposed Indiana legislation concerns LGBTQ advocates

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A new Indiana House bill would replace instances of the word “gender” with the phrase “biological sex” in some state statutes.

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.”

Advocates against the legislation said it would dangerous for members of the LGBTQ+ community.

“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 obviously 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.”

Examples where the state could see change include anti-discrimination laws and the currently unenforceable law banning same-sex marriage in Indiana.

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.”

Lawmakers have yet to schedule a hearing for the bill as of Tuesday night.

News 8 reached out to the bill’s authors — Reps. Chris Judy, Joanna King, Michelle Davis, and Robert Morris — on multiple occasions and did not receive a comment from them.