INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 26, 2015) - It was a historic day for gays and lesbians across the country and in Indiana. A large group gathered inside the statehouse Friday, where they held a rally in support of the historic Supreme Court decision that recognized same-sex marriages as legal in all 50 states.
It was just a few months ago inside the same building when gays and lesbians were fighting a very different battle against the state’s controversial religious freedom law.
There was celebration Friday for gay and lesbian Hoosiers who, for the first time ever, had their marriages recognized in every corner of the country they live in.
“Marriage here can’t be taken away. We were still holding our breath today but now we know the decision,” said Katie Blair, Campaign Manager for the organization Freedom Indiana.
It was just a few months ago, inside the same statehouse, Blair was fighting against the state’s controversial religious freedom law.
“It’s a very different feel. It’s a day of celebration, it’s a day of love, and it’s a day where we continue to move forward. The LGBT movement is going strong and we hope to keep it going through the 2016 legislative session and onward,” she said.
“The battle lines are now drawn and in the 2016 Indiana General Assembly there will be again an aggressive effort to jeopardize religious freedom for every Hoosier,” said Eric Miller.
Miller, an attorney and founder of the organization Advance America, promised Friday to fight any continued efforts to enhance the rights of gays and lesbians. Miller claimed the landmark ruling by the Supreme Court is an attack on religious freedom.
“Sexual orientation is defined as who you want to have sex with. Race is different. You’re born a certain race; you’re born a national origin. You see those things, people are born with those things they are immutable. Sexual orientation, gender identity is fluid, it is a choice,” said Miller.
“It’s an awesome day. Today we celebrate and tomorrow we pick it up again,” said Melody Betterman-Lane.
For same sex couples like Betterman-Lane and her wife Tara, the work continues to achieve full equality in the eyes of the law.
“We need to become a protected class in the state of Indiana. We’re not that now… It’s still very legal for people to discriminate against us in housing and employment. We think those are the issues that we probably need to be working on next,” she said.
State democrats plan to introduce legislation in the upcoming session that will add gays and lesbians as a protected class to the State’s civil rights code.