Pastors deliver petitions to Indiana lawmakers opposing LGBT civil rights protections


By: Brian Slodysko/Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Conservative ministers have delivered petitions signed by more than 5,000 people who oppose legislative proposals that would extend state civil rights protections to include sexual orientation and gender identity.

Pastor Ron Johnson of the Indiana Pastors Alliance says GOP Senate leader David Long is the “source of the problem.” Johnson joined about two-dozen supporters Wednesday to deliver the petitions with more than 5,500 signatures opposing two Senate bills.

One bill would extend discrimination protections to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in public accommodation, housing and employment. The other would do the same but exclude transgender people. Both measures contain several religious exemptions.

Johnson praised Republican Gov. Mike Pence, who said during Tuesday’s State of the State address that he won’t sign legislation that “diminishes the religious freedom of Hoosiers.”