INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- Indiana Stonewall Democrats, the LGBTQ+ political arm of the Indiana Democratic Party, formally submitted an open records request to the office of State Representative Michelle Davis asking for communications between Davis and anti-LGBTQ activists groups who are likely to have coordinated with a national hate group known as the Alliance Defending Freedom to make House Bill 1041 a law in the Hoosier State. The legislation would target innocent minors who simply want to play the sports they love.
Indiana Stonewall Democrats are calling on leaders in the Indiana Senate to not take up House Bill 1041 and for the supermajority in the statehouse to denounce their relationship with the Alliance Defending Freedom.
“Transgender kids have the right to participate in sports consistent with who they are, just like every other kid. Denying this right is unconstitutional and blatant discrimination,” said Katie Doyle, President of Indiana Stonewall Democrats. “Hoosiers deserve transparency and we know that this bill is about more than ‘protecting women’s sports’ if elected representatives like Rep. Davis are looking to hate groups for legislation. This shows how far our legislators are willing to go to attack our community.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom is notorious for defending a set of culture wars that have villainized the nation’s LGBTQ+ community. This includes criminalizing the existence of LGBTQ+ Americans, opposing settled laws like marriage equality, and even defending state-sanctioned sterilization of trans people abroad. This work has led to the Southern Poverty Law Center designating the organization as a hate group. The ADF is currently embarking on a national campaign against the country’s transgender community, and HB 1041 is their latest tactic. In fact, the ADF and Idaho State Rep. Barbara Ehardt have both collaborated with state legislators and testified in support of this legislation in multiple states - including Idaho, Montana, and now Indiana.
“The ADF is an organization that if they had their way, simply existing would be a criminal offense,” said State Senator J.D. Ford during a news conference on Tuesday. “And with legislation like House Bill 1041, they want to do all they can to make transgender kids afraid of themselves and forced to believe that they were broken.”
Indiana is the third state in which Ehardt has testified - making it obvious the INGOP is in support of this national effort. State Rep. Davis is the second Indiana elected official to pursue measures like HB 1041. Former State Rep. Christy Stutzman promoted similar legislation in 2020 - even touting the ADF as her inspiration.
“If the ADF actually used facts in their legal work, they’d know that measures like House Bill 1041 are a violation of both Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and Title IX of the 1972 Education Amendments,” said Greencastle City Councilor, Veronica Pejril and board member of Indiana Stonewall Democrats during Tuesday’s press conference. “In 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed that discrimination against transgender Americans is a form of unlawful sex discrimination.”