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LGBT rights in Indiana
Indiana (US)
Indiana (US)
Same-sex sexual activity legal? Legal since 1977
Gender identity/expression State does not require SRS to alter sex on birth certificate
Recognition of
Same-sex marriage legal since 2014
Adoption Yes
Discrimination protections Sexual orientation and gender identity protections in state employment

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons in the U.S. state of Indiana face some legal challenges not experienced by non-LGBT residents. Same-sex marriage has been legal in Indiana since October 6, 2014, when the U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider an appeal in the case of Baskin v. Bogan.

Discrimination protection[edit]

Map of Indiana counties and cities that have sexual orientation and/or gender identity anti–employment discrimination ordinances
  Sexual orientation and gender identity with anti–employment discrimination ordinance
  Sexual orientation with anti–employment discrimination ordinance and gender identity solely in public employment
  Sexual orientation and gender identity solely in public employment

Governor Joe Kernan issued an Executive Order in 2004 protecting state employees from discrimination based on sexual orientation as well as gender identity and expression. In 2005, Governor Mitch Daniels added the terms "sexual orientation" and "gender identity" to the list of protected categories in state employment covered by the state's Equal Employment Opportunity policy.[1]

The counties of Marion[2] and Monroe,[2] along with the cities of Bloomington,[2] Evansville,[2] Indianapolis,[2] New Albany,[3] South Bend,[2] West Lafayette,[4] and Carmel[5] prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The counties of Lake[6] and Tippecanoe[7] and the cities of Fort Wayne,[7] Lafayette,[7] Michigan City,[7] and Terre Haute[7] prohibit employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation only.

Religious objections[edit]

On March 26, 2015, Mike Pence signed Indiana Senate Bill 101, also known as the Indiana "religious objections" bill, into law.[8] The law's signing was met with widespread criticism by such organizations as the NCAA, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, the gamer convention Gen Con, and the Disciples of Christ. Technology company said it would halt its plans to expand in the state.[9][10]

Thousands protested against the policy.[11][12]

Law regarding same-sex sexual activity[edit]

Indiana decriminalized same-sex sexual activity in 1977.[13]

Recognition of same-sex relationships[edit]

Same-sex marriage recognized under federal court decision in October 2014.[14]

Annual attempts to adopt a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman have failed since 2004. Indiana requires that two separately elected legislatures approve an amendment for it to be put to a popular vote. The proposed amendment passed both houses of the legislature in 2005,[15] and then again in 2011. If passed again in 2014, it will appear on the ballot in the same year.[16] On June 25, 2014, U. S. District Court Judge Young declared Indiana's DOMA to be unconstitutional, and same-sex couples immediately began to secure marriage licenses.[17]

Domestic partnerships[edit]

Map of Indiana counties and cities that offer domestic partner benefits either county-wide or in particular cities.
  City offers domestic partner benefits
  County-wide partner benefits through domestic partnership
  County or city does not offer domestic partner benefits

There is no recognition of domestic partnerships at the state level in Indiana.


In 1997, Bloomington established domestic partnerships for unmarried city employees.[18]


Carmel has established domestic partnerships for unmarried city employees.[18]


On August 13, 2012, the Indianapolis City-County Council, in a 20-8 bipartisan vote in favor of establishing domestic partnerships for all married and unmarried employees of the city and county. On August 23, 2012, Mayor Greg Ballard signed it into law. On January 1, 2013, the law went into effect.[18][19]

Adoption and parenting[edit]

Indiana statutes permit single LGBT persons to adopt. The state Court of Appeals ruled in 2006 that unmarried couples, including same-sex couples, may adopt as well. Some local courts have also supported the right of a same-sex partner to adopt his or her same-sex partner's biological or adopted child.[20]

Hate crime[edit]

Indiana collects data on "bias crimes" which include sexual orientation bias but does not criminalize them as a hate crime nor alter proposed sentencing requirements due to sexual orientation bias.[21][22] Gender identity is not included in the hate crime statutes as well.

Living conditions summary[edit]

Same-sex sexual activity legal Yes (since 1977)[13]
Equal age of consent Yes [23]
Anti-discrimination laws in employment X mark.svg (Varies by County)
Anti-discrimination laws in the provision of goods and services X mark.svg (Varies by County)
Anti-discrimination laws in all other areas (incl. indirect discrimination, hate speech) No (Varies by County)
Same-sex marriages Yes (Since Oct 2014)[24]
Step-child adoption by same-sex couples Yes [20]
Joint adoption by same-sex couples Yes [20]
Gays and lesbians allowed to serve openly in the military Yes (since 2013) [25]
Right to change legal gender Yes[26]
Access to IVF for lesbians Unknown
Commercial surrogacy for gay male couples Unknown
Hate Crime Data Collection for Sexual Orientation Bias Yes (Since 2003)[21][22]
Hate Crime Data Collection for Gender Identity Bias No
Hate Crime Specialized Sentencing Guidelines for Sexual Orientation Bias No
Hate Crime Specialized Sentencing Guidelines for Gender Identity Bias No


  1. Patterson, James (August 5, 2005). "'Sexual orientation' policy remains sore spot for Ind. governor". Baptist Press. Retrieved April 9, 2011. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 "Cities and Counties with Non-Discrimination Ordinances that Include Gender Identity". Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  3. Schneider, Grace (August 22, 2012). "New Albany anti-discrimination law draws raves from Kentucky". The Courier-Journal. Retrieved January 3, 2013. "New Albany's new law bans discrimination in employment, education, housing and public accommodations based on an individual's actual or perceived [...] sexual orientation, gender identity" 
  4. "West Lafayette Human Relations Commission". City of West Lafayette. Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  5.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 "Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Now Protected in Marion County". Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman. February 9, 2006. Retrieved January 2, 2013. 
  8. "Indiana Gov. Pence defends religious objections law: 'This bill is not about discrimination'". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  9. "NCAA 'concerned' over Indiana law that allows biz to reject gays". CNN. March 26, 2015. Retrieved March 26, 2015. 
  10. Tom Davies (March 27, 2015). "Indiana officials look to stem religious objections fallout". Associated Press. 
  11. "Thousands march in Indiana to protest law seen targeting gays". Reuters. March 29, 2015. 
  12. "Hundreds rally against Indiana law, say it's discriminatory". Associated Press. March 28, 2015. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 Indiana Sodomy Law
  14. "Supreme Court rejects gay marriage appeals from Indiana". WTHR 13 Indianapolis. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  15. "Indiana State Senate to take action on marriage amendment", January 15, 2010, accessed April 9, 2011; WISHtv: Jim Shella, "Gay marriage ban goes to Indiana House once again", January 28, 2010, accessed April 9, 2011
  16. Allen, Kevin (March 29, 2011). "Indiana Senate OKs amendment to ban gay marriages". WSBT. Retrieved August 20, 2013. 
  17. Young, Richard L. (June 25, 2014). "Entry on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment ... three cases, Baskin v. Bogan, Fujii v. Pence, and Lee v. Pence". U.S.D.C. S.D. Ind. Retrieved June 25, 2014. 
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 "Indy passes benefits for domestic partners". IDS. Retrieved December 10, 2013. 
  19. "Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard OKs domestic partner benefits". Indy Star. Retrieved February 21, 2014. 
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 Indiana Adoption Law
  21. 21.0 21.1 "A Guide to State Level Advocacy Following Enactment of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act". Human Rights Campaign. Human Rights Campaign. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  22. 22.0 22.1 "Indiana Code 10-13-3 - Criminal History Information". Indiana General Assembly. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  23. "Indiana Code 35-42-4". Retrieved June 9, 2011. 
  24. "Supreme Court rejects gay marriage appeals from Indiana". WTHR - Indiana's New Leader. WTHR 13 - Indianapolis. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  25. McCloskey, Megan; Carroll, Chris (June 26, 2013). "Supreme Court strikes down DOMA; Hagel promises benefits ASAP". Stars & Stripes. Retrieved June 27, 2013. 
  26. "Changing sex on birth certificates in the US". Susan's Place Transgender Resources. Retrieved October 12, 2014. 

MAP Equality Map[edit]


LGBT organizations[edit]

LGBT community centers[edit]

LGBT youth organizations[edit]

Higher education LGBT resource offices[edit]

Anti-LGBT Industry[edit]


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