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Indianapolis Businesses Scramble Over New Gay Rights Law


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Indianapolis Businesses Scramble Over New Gay Rights Law

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: December 26, 2005 8:00 pm ET

(Indianapolis, Indiana) Businesses throughout Indianapolis are rushing to make sure their employee regulations comply with a new non-discrimination ordinance protecting the rights of LGBT workers.

The ordinance was passed December 20 and ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity in the areas of employment, education, public accommodations, and housing.( story) It was signed by Mayor Bart Peterson on Christmas Eve and went into immediate effect.

"The majority of employers in Indianapolis will find they need to revise their policies," Michael Blickman, a labor and employment attorney told the Indianapolis Star.

"While some employers have prohibited sexual orientation discrimination, I am confident that very few - perhaps only a handful - include gender identity as a protected category."

Blickman and other lawyers in the city are notifying their corporate clients of the new law.

Anyone violating the ordinance could be charged.

For employers it means making sure human resources officers know of the law and educate their workforce. Employees have to be told that homophobic remarks or 'jokes' could be the basis for dismissal, Blickman said.

The non-discrimination ordinance made Indianapolis one of seven municipalities in Indiana that prohibit discrimination in housing, employment and accommodations based on sexual orientation. Other areas include the cities of Bloomington, Fort Wayne, Lafayette, Michigan City and West Lafayette, and Tippecanoe County. The Indianapolis ordinance is the only one that provides protection for transgender individuals.

More than 100 cities and municipalities across the United States have passed similar protections for its LGBT citizens.

©365Gay.com 2005


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