Athlete Ally, an organization activating athletes to support LGBT inclusion and equality, launched the #Final4Fairness Campaign to raise awareness about Indiana’s discriminatory religious refusal law heading into the NCAA Men’s Final Four Championship this weekend. Thousands of sports fans and a lineup of professional athletes have signed on to support the campaign, including Athlete Ally Ambassadors D’Qwell Jackson of the Indianapolis Colts, Olympic legend Greg Louganis, and more.
Today, the Indiana legislature proposed a limited fix to the religious refusal law in the form of an amendment. While this new bill is an important step to decrease threats to LGBT people living or visiting Indiana, the amendment fails to meaningfully protect them from discrimination or to prevent use of the RFRA to warrant other injustices.
Ashland Johnson, Policy Director of Athlete Ally, issued the following statement:
“In the last week, we’ve seen the power of sport create positive change at a moment of great need. Athletes, coaches, and sports institutions are rallying together to support LGBT Hoosiers, and lawmakers are listening.
While the proposed amendment is a step in the right direction, it is a far cry from the equality we’re seeking, and it is a far cry from the equality that the values of sport demand.
Our deep hope was to go into the Final Four on Saturday with a new law upholding equality in Indiana. But, the bill being considered today is not enough, and there is no middle ground when it comes to equality. Athlete Ally will continue to work toward the full and unqualified protections of LGBT people – at the Final Four, in Indiana, and beyond. We urge anyone who experiences discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, explained as due to others’ religious beliefs, to contact Lambda Legal’s Help Desk.”
About Athlete Ally
Athlete Ally is a non-profit organization that educates and empowers the athletic community to take a stand against homophobia and transphobia in sports. Athlete Ally works with MLB, the NBA, and NBPA on player development and LGBT inclusion. It also co-wrote the NCAA’s LGBT policies and resource guides and partners with over a hundred professional athletes and college campuses to promote LGBT equality and respect.
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