The ACLU has a long history of defending the LGBTQ community. Nationally, we brought our first LGBTQ rights case in 1936 and founded the LGBTQ Project in 1986. Today, the ACLU brings more LGBTQ cases and advocacy initiatives than any other national organization. In Indiana, we combat religious refusal laws in the legislature, because religion should never be used as a means of discrimination. We continue to fight for equal protection in housing, jobs and services. The ACLU of Indiana works tirelessly to update the state human rights law to include gender and sexuality. The ACLU of Indiana has successfully advocated for the right of Indiana Youth Group to print IYG license plates, ensured that Gay Straight Alliances can be in schools, protected the basic human rights of transgender prisoners, and in 2014 we proved in the courts that denying same-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional.
The ACLU of Indiana started the TEAP (Transgender Education and Advocacy Program) in 2016 to create and promote transgender education and activism statewide. The aim of Indiana TEAP is to create a more favorable statewide climate in which to promote full protections for the LGBTQ community and to combat anti-trans legislation and rhetoric. Our strategy is to identify grassroots advocates and activists and work with them to find ways the ACLU of Indiana can support their efforts.
To that end, the TEAP program is investing in local transgender activists and advocates and providing them with leadership development and support. By working throughout Indiana, interfacing with local leaders, building community cohesion, and starting conversations with the public, we hope to provide opportunities for our Hoosier trans community to make a difference in their hometowns and neighborhoods.