INDIANAPOLIS — Following a Wednesday evening hearing of the Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee, Senate Democratic Leader Tim Lanane (D-Anderson) released the following statement regarding the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 344.

“Last year, the Republican-inflicted fight over RFRA resulted in great damage and exposed enormous deficiencies in Indiana’s Civil Rights protections.

“In large areas of our state, it’s legal for LGBT Hoosiers to be married on Saturday and fired for it Monday.

“Since then, Hoosiers have called on lawmakers to send a strong signal, to make very clear that Indiana does not condone discrimination.

“Tonight, Republican leadership failed that task spectacularly. They took a step backwards and passed a bill that seemingly overcomplicates what is a very simple question: does Indiana permit discrimination or doesn’t it?

“Almost equal rights. Allowing “a little bit” of discrimination – as under SB 344 – won’t cut it.

“RFRA cost Indianapolis $60 million in lost economic activity alone. It cost our state much more. It cost Indiana our reputation as a welcoming state.

“This really is simple. Equal protection under the law. For all Hoosiers. Nothing more and nothing less. It’s really that easy.

“These are our neighbors, our friends, Hoosiers. They deserve equal protection. No one should lose their job for who they are.

“We must protect all Hoosiers equally under the law. Until then, the job isn’t done.”

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Sen. Lanane represents Indiana Senate District 25 which includes portions of Madison and Delaware counties, including the City of Muncie and the southeastern portion of the City of Anderson. For more information on Sen. Lanane, his legislative agenda or other State Senate business call 1-800-382-9467 or visit www.indianasenatedemocrats.org/S25 .

NOTE: A photo of Sen. Tim Lanane can be downloaded at: https://www.indianasenatedemocrats.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Lanane.jpg