LGBT Rights in Indiana
Indiana LGBT rights have a long history with many setbacks on the road to equality. Although Indiana still has a long way to go to reach total equality we are likely to see some big changes still in the state.
A hot issue that we may see passed soon in Indiana is a conversion therapy ban. At the moment there are no cities or counties that have passed any bills on the issue but many groups hope to pass a statewide bill.
Dealing with Employment Discrimination? Free Online Consulations
What are LGBT Rights in Indiana?
LGBT rights in Indiana have gone from bans on sexual activity as recently as the 1960’s to seeing a 70% approval rating of LGBT marriage. Although the state has seen a lot of change in attitudes since the 60’s we still have a ways to go
Our Evolving Rights in Indiana
Indiana LGBT rights have seen a lot of progress for trans rights. However, discrimination is still a hot button issue and one that needs further bills in the state. The state is one of just a few that allow trans individuals to change their name and gender on their birth certificate without getting a full transition surgery. It is also one of the few states that allow you to be non-binary.
With so many states at our borders restricting trans rights there is a lot of support in Indiana. In 2017, a bill was attempted to reverse the birth certificate decision. Within one day of public backlash the bill failed. So what kind of laws do we have in place now that help the LGBT community as whole?
Indiana LGBT Stats
LGBT MARRIAGE IN Indiana
Since the Obergefell v. Hodges case in 2016, Indiana has seen a huge increase in public opinion on same-sex marriage and gay rights as a whole. The ability to marry in the state has also opened up some other benefits. For instance, adoption is now legal and available to both individuals.
The Fight Toward Equal Marriage
Marriage equality hasn’t come without a fight. At least three times before the 2014 decision of the Supreme Court, Indiana attempted to make marriage between only a man and woman. However, none of those bills passed into law.
BENEFITS FOR LGBTQ+
- All states recognize marriages performed in other states
- Same-sex couples can file joint state tax returns
- Employers must now offer same-sex couple spousal benefits
- Couples have the same visitation and decision making rights as other couples
- Now same-sex couples have the same rights upon the death of a partner
- A right to divorce
Same-sex adoption has been and in some ways is still a huge issue in the community. For most of Indiana’s history a child could only be adopted by a single individual or by a married couple. This of course excluded gay and lesbian couples from having a full legal right to their children.
Today many religious organizations may still make the process difficult but with legal protections it is finally possible.
How Same-Sex Adoption Came to Indiana
Indiana has been ahead of the times on same-sex adoption and had the right for both partners to sign a birth certificate since 2006. The state has been so far ahead because of a landmark decision in 2005 that gave a lesbian couple rights to their child conceived through artificial insemination.
Rights We Still Don’t Have:
- Parental Leave Laws for Same-Sex Couples
- Non-Discrimination Laws for Same-Sex Couples Looking to Adopt
- Non-Discrimination Laws for Foster Care
No matter how many studies that come out disproving the effectiveness of conversion therapy it continues to happen. This is one bill that Indiana LGBT groups hope to pass at a state level. However, there are many ways where a bill may go wrong. For instance, Utah just passed a ban on the practice but it is only illegal for no religious leaders to perform.
Conversion Therapy in Indiana
At this moment in time there are no cities or counties that have banned conversion therapy. However, there is still hope for the future of these bills coming to pass across the state.
Transgender Rights & Hospitals
Trans rights have been easier to gain in Indiana than in many states at the border. Although these rights have only been in place since 2017 and are still fairly difficult to access. However, the fact that they have been consistently passed and have held on is a good sign for the future.
Hospitals, on the other hand, have not been keeping up with these laws and need to work toward making the trans community feel more comfortable in a hospital situation. At this time 1 in 5 LGBT adults have avoided hospitals because of a negative experience.
Transgender Rights in Indiana
Indiana has passed a lot of progressive bills since 2017. First the right to change your name and gender on your drivers license. Then a bill was passed allowing trans men and women to change their gender on their birth certificate. Finally we got a non-binary option for drivers licenses.
Legal name changes in Indiana require a petition to the court. However, the applicant has to publish notice of this petition in a newspaper for 3 weeks and the last week being at least 30 days before the name change hearing. An applicant must then file a copy of the published name change notice verified by affidavit of a disinterested person.
“Individuals who are currently confined in a Department of Corrections facility cannot receive a name change, and individuals who are not currently incarcerated but have a felony conviction within the last ten years have additional notification requirements. (Ind. Code Ann. §§ 34-28-2-1 to 34-28-2-4).”
In addition, should an individuals have a past conviction of certain violent or sexual offenses, they are barred from obtaining a name change for life except in cases of marriage, divorce, adoption, or for purposes of a sincerely held religious belief. In these cases, notification requirements apply. (Ind. Code Ann. IC §§ 11-8-8-23, 31-15-2-19, 31-19-2-1.1, 34-28-2-1.5).
For instructions on legal name changes for minors under 17 in Indiana, see NCTE’s Name Changes for Minors in Indiana resource.
In order to update name and/or gender on an Indiana ID, the applicant must submit to the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles:
(1) If requesting a name change, a court order approving a change of name or an amended birth certificate showing the change of name
(2) If requesting a gender change:
(a) a birth certificate showing a change of gender OR
(b) a form signed by a physician certifying that the applicant successfully underwent all treatment necessary to permanently change gender (State Form 55617) OR
(c) a physician’s signed and dated statement, on letterhead, that includes the language from 140 IAC 7-1.1-3 “<insert customer’s name> successfully underwent all treatment necessary to permanently change <insert customer’s name> gender from <insert prior gender> to <insert new gender>.”
The Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles addresses name and gender change here.
Indiana Code allows for additions or corrections to birth certificates, but does not provide specific gender correction language. Ind. Code Ann. § 16-37-2-10. The Corrections Section of the Indiana State Department of Health Vital Records office will issue an amended birth certificate upon receipt of a court order. To apply for an amended birth certificate the applicant should submit:
- A certified court order from any valid court in the U.S. (the court order must have the person’s name, date and place of birth, and must say to change the original gender of the person on the birth certificate)
- An application for a birth certificate
- A copy of a photo ID with current mailing address
- A check or money order with applicable fees ISDH
General information from the Department of Health about amending birth certificates is on their website here.
LGBT Hospital Rights in Indiana
A negative experience in a hospital can change the way you access health care. For example, 1 in 5 LGBT individuals have said that they no longer go to the doctor after a bad experience. That is a lot of people and we will need to make a lot of progress in the future to help prevent this type of situation in the future.
On June 15, 2020 a landmark decision was made by the U.S. Supreme Court. Finally employment rights would extend to LGBT individuals federally. This means that your employer can not fire you for being gay, lesbian, or transgendered. However, in At-Will states you may still be in danger of being fired but given another reason to avoid a lawsuit.
Employment Protections in Indiana
The Supreme Court found on June 15, 2020 that employers can not fire an LGBT employee for simply being gay, lesbian, or transexual. This decision made workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity illegal in all 50 states.
If you have been fired because of your sexual orientation or gender identity you have rights. The lawyers at Dyer, Garofalo, Mann, and Shultz can help you fight back.