INDIANAPOLIS — Hundreds of people calling for Indiana to add protections for gays and transgender individuals to the state’s civil-rights laws marched through downtown Indianapolis Saturday, attracting the attention basketball fans attending the NCAA Final Four, some of whom offered the protesters cheers of support.
The march came two days after Indiana lawmakers responded to an uproar over a new religious objections law and tweaked the law to address concerns that it would allow discrimination against LGBT individuals.
March organizer Dominic Dorsey II told the crowd as it gathered on the steps of the city’s Monument Circle that the Legislature’s move was only a beginning. He said lawmakers now need to add legal protections to state law to prohibit workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“This new language that they’ve added is like stabbing somebody in the back and then pulling it out three inches and saying, ‘You’re all right, right? We’re good now, right?” he told crowd, which shouted back “no!”
Dorsey then led the gathering in chanting “Hoosiers don’t discriminate! — No more Band-Aids masking hate!” as they began a march that carried them several blocks past the city’s business district, bars and restaurants to the Lucas Oil Stadium, home of this year’s men’s Final Four.
Article continues belowDozens of the marchers carried rainbow flags, American flags and Indiana state flags as well as signs reading “No hate in our state,” ”Equal rights for all” and other messages. Some pushed baby strollers with their children, others had dogs on leashes and many wore blue T-shirts reading “Indy Welcomes All.”
Police officers who blocked intersections so the protesters could march along downtown streets without incident estimated that between 500 and 600 people took part in the march. There were no arrests and the protest was “very peaceful,” said Indianapolis police spokesman Lt. Richard Riddle.