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Equal Rights for All

     Most often, we associate the calls for freedom and equality as fighting for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters. And while that fight is extremely important, it is not the only fight for equality. We must ensure that we do not stop fighting for everyone to have equal rights under the law. 

     This is why we must support a hate crime law and equal protection under our already existing non-discrimination law. We are one of five states that does not have a hate crimes law. A hate crime law would require stiffer sentences if the motive for the crime were based on racial, sexual orientation, or gender bias. The common argument in Indiana against a hate crime law is that there is no need for one because judges already have a wide berth in deciding if a crime was committed with bias. That line of thinking is just not enough. We need to send a clear message that crime in any form is not acceptable, but crimes against those that don't look like us or don't practice the same religion as us are an affront to who we are as Hoosiers and who we are as Americans.

     Another issue that must be addressed is the gender pay gap. Currently, women in Indiana make 74 cents for every dollar a man makes. We must ensure equal pay for equal work.

     It seems that every session of the Indiana Legislature includes some bill trying to remove the rights given to the LGBTQ community under Obergfell v. Hodges, the Supreme Court decision that struck down bans on gay marriage. We must not rest until our LGBTQ brothers and sisters have every right afforded to straight individuals and couples.

I might not be the same, But that's not important
No freedom 'til we're equal
Damn right I support it

-"Same Love", Macklemore

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