Out Leadership’s letter to Indiana State Senate President about HB1041

Last week in Indiana a bill banning transgender girls from playing girls sports in elementary, middle and high schools passed the Indiana House. House Bill 1041 will now be put before the Indiana Senate, where if passed, it will become State law.

Earlier today, I wrote to Rodric Bray, the President Pro Tempore of the Indiana Senate, urging him to consider the negative message about the business environment in Indiana, passing such a bill would send. Read the full text of my letter below.

If you would like to email the good Senator your concerns about this bill, his email is: Senator.Bray@iga.in.gov

Dear Senator Bray,

Out Leadership, the largest and oldest global coalition of businesses championing respect for the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTQ+) people, joins other voices in encouraging the Indiana Senate, to vote against House Bill 1041. We believe the bill is not responding to a concrete issue in Indiana as much as being orchestrated by a small number of organizations for ideological purposes.

Out Leadership is the voice for businesses on issues related to LGBTQ+ equality. The coalition includes some of the largest US-based multinationals including EY, Microsoft, The Coca-Cola Company and Goldman Sachs. Out Leadership is also a convener for a network of more than 650 CEOs including Jim Fitterling, Chairman & Chief Executive Office, The Dow Chemical Company; Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC; and Noel Quinn, Group Chief Executive, HSBC.

Our coalition of businesses believes the private sector has a stake in ensuring everybody is treated equally, including LGBTQ+ people. It is not only a human rights imperative but is good for business and is smart for the economy. Extensive research has shown that, when LGBTQ+ people are denied the opportunity to achieve their full potential in society because of violations of their rights, it not only has a widespread harmful effect on the population but also makes business difficult. Large employers in Indiana such as GM, Ikea, Kroger and Steel Dynamics are known for their commitment to equality and will suffer from the aftereffects of an antagonistic piece of legislation such as House Bill 1041.

We believe the controversy around the bill sends a negative message about the business environment in Indiana, the ease of doing business there and could have a chilling effect on potential investors. In our Indiana CEO State Brief (link here), we highlight progress on LGBTQ+ inclusion which would be backtracked with such a legislative move.

We urge you to consider this request favorably and look forward to working with Indiana’s lawmakers to champion an inclusive and thriving Indiana.

We look forward to hearing from you on this important matter.

Sincerely,

Fabrice Houdart