FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2016
Over 500 Hoosier businesses show support for statewide anti-discrimination legislation
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indiana Competes announced today the coalition of businesses which have signed on in support of statewide anti-discrimination legislation in Indiana has grown to more than 500 – strengthening the business community’s collective voice in support of equality for all Hoosiers.
Indiana Competes was formed in response to the state’s lack of protections for LGBT Hoosiers and continues to advocate for an update to Indiana’s existing laws to include protections for gay and transgender Hoosiers, making discrimination illegal on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. The coalition believes that ensuring Indiana is a welcoming place for everyone is critical to the state’s economic growth and welfare.
“Lilly’s future success will be determined by our ability to attract and retain great employees. We are gratified that over 500 businesses have now joined Indiana Competes. The collective message of our coalition is clear: Indiana leaders must take decisive action to reinforce our state’s reputation as a great place to live and work—for everyone,” said Stephen F. Fry, Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Diversity at Eli Lilly and Company.
Ensuring Indiana remains competitive for top talent and investment is a priority issue for Indiana Competes and coalition businesses understand the impact any perception of discrimination can have on their competitive edge around the globe.
“We are pleased to stand with hundreds of companies, representing tens of thousands of Hoosiers, to support a fully inclusive civil rights law that ensures ALL people are treated equally,” said Marya Rose, Chief Administrative Officer, Cummins Inc. “This will ensure that companies like ours can continue to grow and be successful in Indiana, but even more importantly, passing legislation that protects the rights of everyone is simply the right thing to do.”
Indiana Competes launched in December 2015 in advance of the 2016 legislative session with just over 150 businesses on board. Today, that number has grown to 503 business spanning large corporations to small family-owned business in cities across Indiana.
“Discrimination is bad for business, big or small. That’s why we must support legislation that guarantees everyone fair treatment in the workplace, in housing, and in businesses and government services, everywhere in Indiana,” said Amy Straka, owner of Amy Straka Photography. “So many communities, like my own home Michigan City, have passed ordinances protecting the right to fair and equal treatment for all of our citizens and visitors, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Let’s bring those protections to all Hoosiers."
The Indiana Competes coalition has remained actively engaged on the issue, working to assist leaders in cities and towns across the state pass local Human Rights Ordinances and continuing the important conversations about the impact the state’s current laws can have on the Hoosier economy.
“We must continue to work with state and local lawmakers, our business community and other organizations to bring this issue to the forefront,” said Michael Huber, president and CEO of the Indy Chamber. “Any action that does not promote and protect equality for all Hoosiers is bad for business and bad for Indiana.”
To see the full list of Indiana Competes coalition members or for more information, visit www.indianacompetes.org.
About Indiana Competes:
Indiana Competes is an organization dedicated to the sustainable growth of Indiana’s economy by ensuring that persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities are treated fairly and equally under the law. We support legislation that guarantees all individuals receive fair treatment in the workplace, in housing, and in businesses and government services throughout the State of Indiana. Hoosier businesses, large and small, across the state, are joining together to support updates to Indiana’s civil rights laws to see that all citizens regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, disability, and now sexual orientation, gender identity and expression – can participate freely in our state’s economy.
Jessica Higdon, Indy Chamber - (317) 464-2232,