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Freedom Indiana launches “Moms for Freedom” coalition December 1, 2015

December 1, 2015

INDIANAPOLIS – Freedom Indiana, the statewide grassroots organization fighting to update existing Indiana laws against discrimination to include gay and transgender Hoosiers, today launched “Moms for Freedom” with stories from moms about how legal discrimination harms Hoosier families like theirs every day.

These five moms are sharing why it matters to them that no one in Indiana should be able to be fired or denied service or housing because of who they are or whom they love.

“This isn’t just a debate that’s happening at the Statehouse,” said Freedom Indiana campaign manager Chris Paulsen. “The words we’re asking lawmakers to include in our state civil rights law are critically important to protecting people who live, work in and visit our state.

“These moms wanted share their stories to make it clear that legal discrimination cannot remain the law in Indiana. It’s hurt our economy. It’s hurt our reputation. It hurts our families, and we hope others will join them in sending the message that Indiana needs to update the law.”

The “Moms for Freedom” stories are posted on the Freedom Indiana website at Supporters can sign up to join the coalition and get involved in the campaign.

Excerpts from their stories:

Krisztina Inskeep

“I come to you as a mother and grandmother. We are a normal, regular family. If you would have told me last year that I would be addressing you today, I would not have believed you. I am involved in this civil rights discussion because lack of statewide protections affects our family directly. You see, we have a transgender son.”

Leslie Barnes

“As a mom, I fear equally for Matthew’s physical safety and his emotional well-being. If the state gives in to fear mongering, that being gender expansive makes my child predatory or somehow broken, the state has given the real predators a license to assault my child for the simple act of going to the bathroom or for just existing. Every day, Matthew lives with discrimination.”

Michelle & Stephanie

“Ultimately, Michelle said, if statewide non-discrimination protections are passed in Indiana, ‘We’ll be on cloud nine,’ she said, ‘For everyone here, for all the families we know. I think everyone stands to benefit.'”

Melissa Bickel

“The Bickel’s oldest child, Olivia, is transgender. That means that at birth she was assigned the gender of male, but for as long as the family can remember – and as long as she could express herself – she had an unbending desire to live as a girl.”

Sheila York

“’I don’t think that law matched how people feel,’ Sheila said. “’I’ll always love Indiana,’ Drake explained, ‘But I’d be especially proud to be a Hoosier if we could update our laws to protect everyone.'”


Freedom Indiana is the statewide grassroots organization that successfully fought a constitutional marriage amendment and sounded the alarm on the economically devastating Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). The group is advocating that legislators update existing laws against discrimination to include gay and transgender people so no one in Indiana can be fired, denied housing or turned away from public accommodation based on who they are or whom they love.