On July 1, supporters of LGBT rights gathered at the Statehouse to discuss how to move forward now that The Religious Freedom Restoration Act is in effect.
RFRA caught local and national attention after opponents portrayed the policy as an allowance for LGBT discrimination.
The press conference, hosted by Annette Siegel Gross a member of PFLAG, featured several speakers including Zach Adamson, Indianapolis’ first openly gay city-county councilor, Rick Sutton, founder of Freedom Indiana and Angie Alexander, President of Middle Ground, a group that advocates for LGBT families.
The goal of the group is to move equality forward by changing hearts and minds. Gross says they plan to do this by forming a coalition to go out into the community and vote for legislators “who believe in equality and opportunity for everyone.”
Alexander spoke about the discrimination she received in the workplace.
“During the battle of RFRA I lost my job based on my sexual orientation. I worked as a supervisor for a company and my coworkers, my managers, the CEOs of the company felt that I was a threat because of my sexual orientation,” said Alexander. “I was called names such as ‘the gay preacher,’ ‘the gay black girl’ or just that ‘gay lesbian girl over there’ for over a year. I dealt with it…until I said enough is enough I’m going to put an end to discrimination in my workplace and affect change there. So I filed my complaint with the ICRC.”
Unfortunately because members of the LGBT community aren’t a protected class in the states constitution Alexander never got her day in court.
“It was one the worst things I’ve experienced in my life,” she said. “Because I felt like I was stuck. I had this outcry, this very blatant disrespect and discrimination, but I had no one to really go to.”
Now she is prepared to advocate for change until there is justice.
“Justice is a place where everyone is equal; we have the same rights,” said Alexander. “There’s no discrimination between race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity… none of that. RFRA and the fix, that wasn’t justice — that was a Band-Aid covering up the real issue.”