Legal Protections for the LGBT Community in Indianapolis: A Comprehensive Overview

In 1795, Indiana, as part of the Northwest Territory, passed a male sodomy law that punished male sodomy by death. In 1807, the Indiana Territory enacted a criminal code that included a provision on sodomy, which eliminated gender-specific characteristics and reduced the penalty to one to five years in prison, a fine of 100 to 500 dollars, up to 500 lashes, and a permanent loss of civil rights. Sodomy was briefly legal between 1852 and 1881, when a new criminal code was passed without any mention of sodomy. In 1881, the state passed a law that prohibited anal sexual intercourse, fellatio (oral sex) and masturbation of children under 21 (what was called self-contamination) for both heterosexuals and homosexuals.

The sentence was set at no more than fourteen years and not less than two years. In the 1923 case of Young v. The state, the Indiana Supreme Court unanimously ruled that cunnilingus was also criminal and, in 1939, in Connell v. The state rejected the allegations if the law had been applied only to homosexual sexual activity. In 1949, the state passed a law on psychopathic offenders, under which any person over 16 years of age who suffers from a mental disorder, along with a criminal propensity to commit sexual crimes, would be labeled a sexual psychopath criminal.

Those convicted of sodomy would not be able to leave correctional institutions until they fully recovered from criminal psychopathy. A review article of the law published in 1947 showed 160 convictions under the law, of which 60 (38%) were for sodomy and none of the offenders had been a woman. Most of these engagements were for heterosexual behavior. In 1959, an amendment to the law meant that those who refused to cooperate with examining psychiatrists could be found guilty of contempt of court. In 20 years of operation, only 10 consensual adult homosexuals were interned under the law.

The law was confirmed by the Indiana Supreme Court in 1968 in State ex rel. Marion County Criminal Court, Division One and others. In 1971, the Indiana General Assembly amended the law, removing sodomy from the list of trigger crimes if committed with an adult in a consensual manner. In 1967, in a judgment divided by 3 to 2, the Indiana Supreme Court confirmed as constitutionally sufficient an indictment accusing it of the abominable and detestable crime against nature. Jackson disagreed and wrote that the very language of the law, which seeks to define the crime of sodomy, is so indefinite and uncertain that its unconstitutionality can be deduced with as much certainty as night follows day.

He hoped that the next legislature would clarify or abolish this anarchism that recalls the height of witch-hunting in early colonial times. In today's space age and in a sophisticated society, it seems that statutes should explain in language understandable to someone with an average academic level and intelligence what specific nature of crime they are accused of and if that cannot be done it should not be called a crime. Henry, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2 to 1 that married couples could not be prosecuted under the sodomy law. State (197), the Indiana Supreme Court confirmed the constitutionality of the sodomy law in a 3-2 split vote. Disagreeing, Judge Roger DeBruler wrote that moral preferences of majority cannot be imposed on all others unless there is some harm to other people. Sexual acts between consenting adults in private do not harm anyone else and should be free from state regulation.

There is no statewide recognition of domestic partnership in Indiana. Three cities have taken advantage of these opportunities. In 1997, Bloomington established domestic partnerships for single city employees. Carmel has established de facto partnerships for single municipal employees. Specifically, new text says Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) does not authorize supplier - including companies or individuals - to refuse offer or provide services facilities goods employment housing or public accommodation to any member public on basis sexual orientation or gender identity as well as on basis race color religion descent age national origin disability sex or military service.

Indianapolis - Today Human Rights Campaign (HRC), largest lesbian gay bisexual transgender queer (LGBTQ+) civil rights organization in country condemned Indiana Senate for passing two bills against LGBTQ+ people. Senate Bill 480 is bill against LGBTQ+ people that would prohibit age-appropriate medically necessary gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Senate Bill 350 would prohibit local governments from stopping dangerous abusive practice so-called “conversion therapy”. HRC urges Indiana House Representatives reject both bills HRC envisions world in which LGBTQ+ people are accepted full members society home work every community.

In absence federal legislation prohibits discrimination health care based sexual orientation gender identity LGBT people often have few recourse when discrimination occurs. However LGBT rights in Indiana are still quite limited compared other states much more liberal laws Much progress has been made area legal rights LGBTQ people but there much more work done Indiana Goal Indiana TEAP create more favorable state climate promote full protection LGBTQ community combat legislation rhetoric against trans people.

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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