INDIANAPOLIS – On Thursday, the Hamilton Southeastern School (HSE) Board rejected a nondiscrimination policy that would protect people based on their transgender status, sexual orientation and gender identity. State Senator J.D. Ford (D-Indianapolis) had the following remarks on the HSE Board’s decision:

“I am honestly completely shocked. Months after gender identity was removed from a statewide bias crimes bill, we see the LGBTQ+ community being shunned once again in a discrimination policy. Why are some people in Indiana so afraid of protecting our LGTBQ+ Hoosiers?

“I watched the entire board meeting in which gender identity and sexual orientation were left out of a nondiscrimination policy. Board Vice President Sylvia Shepler called being LGTBQ+ a ‘condition’ and likened being gay or transgender to having a mental disorder. This kind of rhetoric has no place in our state. Period. HSE is a public school district and therefore must treat all Hoosiers equally. I definitely want to thank the board members who tried to amend the policy even if their attempts were unsuccessful.

“Although HSE is just outside my district, I feel that it’s my place as a member of the legislature to stand up for LGBTQ+ Hoosiers no matter where they live. My office is always open for anyone who needs to share their story or who needs a helping hand.”