Indiana is one of 28 states in the nation which does not offer a state law protecting against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Almost all major cities in Indiana, however, have passed local human rights ordinances covering sexual orientation and gender identity. Indianapolis enacted such a law more than a decade ago. Additionally, the federal Civil Rights Act extends no protection based on sexual orientation or gender identity. Proponents of an LGBT rights law claim the passage of the state's religious freedom law makes the state inhospitable to the LGBT community, although no such argument was made by LGBT rights organizations when a similar federal law and the majority of other states in the nation previously adopted similar laws.
UPDATE: Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett issued a statement attacking. today's decision by Senate Republican leaders not to move forward on SB 344. Calling the decision "disappointing," Hogsett said Indianapolis has "felt the multi-million dollar impact of this debate--in an effort to develop jobs, in our search for a talented workforce, and when we are soliciting national convention business." "By refusing to take this step forward toward equality this year, the General Assembly risks Indiana falling even more behind," he added.
Here's Senate President Pro Tem David Long's explanation for why a compromise could not be reached to allow this issue to move forward this year as reported by the Indianapolis Star:
Long blamed the death of the gay rights debate on the unwillingness to budge by both LGBT advocates and religious conservatives.
“This effort was unfortunately hampered by well-organized extreme messaging from groups representing both sides of this discussion, many of them from out of state,” Long said. “Neither of those sides were truly seeking a solution.”
Religious conservatives had objected to any extension of civil rights to LGBT people, saying it would protect someone’s sexuality above another person’s religious beliefs.
LGBT advocates had called for unequivocal civil rights protections for gay and transgender Hoosiers, protesting carve-outs for religious groups.