LGBTQ Rights in Indianapolis: Laws that Protect and Hinder

The LGBTQ community in Indianapolis is safeguarded by a number of laws that strive to guarantee their rights and freedoms. According to the most recent census, 7% of the state's population is protected from discrimination based on gender identity in private employment, housing, or public accommodations. Nevertheless, in recent years, states have presented a record number of bills that attack the rights of LGBTQ people, particularly transgender youth. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is actively tracking these attacks and collaborating with their national affiliate network to support LGBTQ people around the world.The Shepard Byrd Act is the first law that allows federal criminal prosecution of hate crimes motivated by the victim's real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.

This Act makes it a federal crime to intentionally cause bodily harm, or attempt to do so with a dangerous weapon, because of the victim's real or perceived race, color, religion, or national origin. It also covers crimes committed because of the real or perceived religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability of any person, if the crime affected interstate or foreign commerce or occurred within federal special maritime or territorial jurisdiction. The Fair Housing Act criminalizes the use or threat of the use of force to interfere with the right to housing because of the victim's race, color, religion, sex, disability, family status, or national origin. It also prohibits the intentional disfiguration, damage, or destruction of religious real estate because of the religious nature of the property when the crime affects interstate or foreign commerce, or because of the race, color, or ethnic characteristics of the people associated with the property. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act directs the Department of Justice to accelerate the review of hate crimes in order to bring charges. The Department must also work to improve the reporting of hate crimes and incidents in light of the increase in hate against Asians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To meet this objective, this law requires the Department to contact law enforcement agencies and provide them with useful tools and resources to report, enforce and prevent hate crimes. It also provides new grants, training and other forms of assistance to help state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies report hate crimes. The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act criminalizes the use or threat of use of force to deliberately interfere with a person's participation in an activity protected by the federal government on the basis of race, color, religion, or national origin. Activities protected by the federal government include public education, employment, jury service, travel, or enjoying public accommodations.

This law also prohibits two or more people from conspiring to harm, threaten, or intimidate a person in any state, territory, or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege guaranteed to them by U. S. Constitution or laws. Territories have hate crime laws that are enforced by state and local law enforcement in state and local courts. Even if a state or territory doesn't have a hate crime law, hate crimes can be reported to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Federal laws protect against certain crimes motivated by race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and disability. The Memorandum on Combating Racism, signed by President Biden on January 20th 2021 is an effort to improve reporting on hate crimes and incidents. This memorandum directs the Department of Justice to contact law enforcement agencies and provide them with useful tools and resources to report and prevent hate crimes. It also directs them to report to Congress on their efforts to improve hate crime reporting. The Movement Advancement Project (MAP) works to ensure that all people have a fair chance to seek health and happiness; earn a living; care for their loved ones; be safe in their communities; and participate in civic life. These laws are essential for protecting LGBTQ rights in Indianapolis and beyond. They provide legal recourse for those who experience discrimination based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

They also help ensure that all people are treated equally under the law regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. At a time when LGBTQ rights are under attack across many states in America it is important for us all to stand up for our rights as citizens and ensure that everyone is treated equally under the law. We must continue to fight for our rights as LGBTQ individuals so that we can live our lives free from discrimination.

Alana Gholston
Alana Gholston

Evil bacon evangelist. Freelance music aficionado. Typical coffee scholar. Lifelong travel maven. Hardcore bacon ninja. Evil bacon expert.

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