Experts Agree It May Be Time To Get The Hell Out Of Indiana, Especially Gays And Women

Speaking broadly, the population of the state of Indiana is made up of two types of people: people who are straight and people who are not straight. Right now both of them are being threatened by Indiana’s state legislative body.

As we mentioned earlier this week, there is a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage being backed by people elected to public office in Indiana despite the fact that gay marriage is already illegal in Indiana. The legislation has already passed both legislative houses, and is now waiting to be passed by a subsequent legislature and also approved by a popular vote. As you may recall, gay marriage has never once been passed by a popular vote.

Speaking of things that both houses of legislature in Indiana: a new bill that requires women to “be told that human life begins at conception” and also restrict access to abortion after 20 weeks. They must also be told in writing that if they get an abortion, they will face a greater risk of infertility and breast cancer. Senator Eric Turner, who says it is the “the responsibility of lawmakers to protect the unborn,” also has feelings on rape! Good news!

I just want you to think about this, in my view, giant loophole that could be created where someone who could — now i want to be careful, I don’t want to disparage in any way someone who has gone through the experience of a rape or incest — but someone who is desirous of an abortion could simply say that they’ve been raped or there’s incest.

So really, we’re not just talking about a legislature that isn’t just interested in protecting the unborn – but also in protecting an imaginary institution of heterosexual marriage, and also the medical community and the voting public from duplicitous women who want to lie about being raped and/or sexually assaulted. People the Indiana legislature is NOT INTERESTED IN PROTECTING: women who are pregnant, women who want to terminate pregnancies, women who have been raped, women who have been survivors of incest or otherwise abused, women who are at risk in their pregnancy, gay people, gay people who want to be married, gay women, ALL WOMEN FOREVER IN GENERAL.

In short, if you are a gay person or woman or gay woman or human being, you may want to consider leaving. You know, like all the Democrats did.

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. That is crazy, I think all the gay people in Indiana should move here to canada. We love everybody. The government is so fucked in U.S.

    • I just want to add how sorry I am for anyone who has to fight for normal human rights. My heart goes out to you.

  2. I was born and raised in Indiana:( I am deeply upset by all the nonsense politics that go on. My little brother and I talk about it all the time. They need to grow up and foucus on what really matters. They have NO right to dictate who you want to marry. I can wait to get out, moving to Chicago this Friday.

  3. Jeezus. This is just revolting. Yeah, you’re going to have to take my WORD FOR IT if I’ve been abused/molested/raped/etc. What do you want to do? Be a fly on the fucking wall? Put a camera in every home/parking lot/car/bathroom stall/locker room/other place? That way you can SEE this shit happening.


    • I agree! And, as a victim of rape – I can testify that if you claim rape you are put through a RIGOROUS medical exam for evidence and to test for diseases and etc. It’s extremely hard to “fake it” in the first place and I highly doubt any woman would claim such a tragedy just to be allowed an abortion! That is just – to use your word – revolting!!!
      I honestly feel like the woman’s right movement is starting to slide backwards and that gay rights will never move any further forward than it already has! Even my eternal optimism is being hacked away at piece by piece!! *SIGH*

  4. This is so depressing. I just moved here for work and will likely be here for at least two years. Wonderful…

    • i feel ya except i was born and bred here. i got two years till i graduate and then i’ll be getting the hell out. i won’t leave without putting up a fight though, i can’t let my hometown turn into a pile of shit.

  5. This makes me very, very sad. Not only for Indianaians but also for our nation because if ONE state can get away with this what is to stop others from trying as well!! :(

  6. Omg, this is fucked. seriously.. Yeah come to Canada. Omg I live in a small town where everyone knows everyones business.. but man.. this wouldnt fly…. People here seriously dont care what mike or joe do in the bedroom.. seriously. this is soo messed up. How is this not being dealt with on a National issue… I know its being worked on. I’m not trying to be insincere but seriously.. its enraging and so inhumane.. its insane literally…. I dont know what else to say omg…. i have to go.

    • My grandpa is considering moving to Canada because he thinks that ‘revolution is on the horizon!’ in the US. I don’t know what makes him think he’d like Canada any better considering how religiously he watches Glenn Beck and rips into Obama for being ‘socialist’. If you don’t like socialism and gays, you are not a good fit for the hat.

  7. This feels like 10 steps back. It’s hard to keep pushing forward when you hear about shit like this still happening in the good ol’ United States of America. I expect this from the south but it seems the ignorance is tainting the water of our midwest now too. If creeps up into the great lakes I may never be able to go home to Michigan.

  8. Why do men get any say over women’s rights anyways? That idiot has no earthly clue what it’s like to be female in a patriarchal society. I can’t even formulate anymore thoughts. All I have is rage.

  9. I read about this bill a while ago and was outraged. As a medical student who intends to become an abortion provider, the thought of being forced to provide patients with misinformation and lies at such a vulnerable time infuriates me. However, I would like to point out one minor detail that was not quite true–most abortions actually happen before 20 weeks, less than 1.5% of abortions occur after 20 weeks ( I 100% agree with the rest of this post though.

  10. Can we talk about Rep. Linda Lawson?

    HOLY EFF play that s**t on the news NOW. People need to hear that.

  11. I was thinking of going to Indiana University for its fantastic music program, but they didn’t want me. Bullet dodged. So glad I chose to go to college in a blue state instead that respects my rights as a woman and bisexual person.

    • To be fair, Bloomington — where IU is located — is as gay-friendly a town as you’re likely to find anywhere in the country. Huge, thriving queer community there.

  12. Dudes, I live in Indiana, and I love it. My town, believe it or not, has a sizable queer community. Let me just say that, yeah, this shit is fucked. Big time. But this won’t pass without a fight from us. People have been stepping up and fighting back, to these 2 bills and to a super racist Arizona copycat law about undocumented immigrants. We ain’t going back in the closet, and we are going to raise fucking hell. Don’t feel sorry for us, help us burn this bullshit to the ground.

    • I think we live in the same town, though I’ve been away for awhile–The Advocate’s gayest small city in America, yes? The irony is that I think it’s Indiana’s crazy right-wing bent that makes oases like Bloomington possible–all the sane folks gravitate to the same place. I’ve heard there’s been a decent amount of activism there to fight all this BS; I’m only sorry I can’t be there to contribute more than emails and phone calls.

  13. Sad very sad. I can’t believe that the focus in Indiana is set on preventing gay unions instead of how many public schools we have closing every year. Can’t stand this state if only my lovely family lived in Canada! *shakes fist*

  14. I went to Indiana to visit family as a teen. First sign something was wrong was the Jesus t-shirts on sale in the mall. Second, the town was having a Jesus parade, and there were no spectators, because everyone was in the parade. When I go somewhere and see JESUS in six foot tall letters on a barn roof, I know what I’m dealing with.

  15. I’m a Hoosier born and raised, and I have generally found Indiana to be a tolerant place, if not wholly accepting. Both Indianapolis and Bloomington have thriving and vibrant gay communities, and it seemed that maybe people were getting used to us and realizing we weren’t going to go away. But I’ve been living in France for the last 7 months and since then it seems like everything has gone to shit. I am thoroughly disgusted and have been fighting the good fight on my blog from over here, but I dunno if I will be able to move back there if it stays this bad or gets worse.

  16. That awkward moment when the representative you’re paging for asks why your not coming back to Indiana after college, and you have to explain that oddly enough, blatant homophobia won’t fix the state’s brain drain.

    Really, Indiana isn’t that scary, I promise! It’s just the politicians. And the tea party. And the religious right, which may or may not be half of the population. But other than that, people are pretty tolerant, it just doesn’t translate into the voting booth.

  17. I’m so glad I got out of there. I was in southern Indiana during the last election and when the entire state went red (except for pockets where the universities are) I knew it was time to get out!

  18. “Really, Indiana isn’t that scary…It’s just the politicians.”
    true enough, miss grace23
    I don’t know if y’all have heard about Mike Pence and his anti planned-parenthood bullshit but I know the women (lesbian and straight alike) of Muncie, IN are not standing for it. Which, is pretty rad.
    Still, stoked to abandon Indiana after college.

  19. You know what?
    I am rather fucking sick of being told I need to get out of here, not by the the conservative fucks in this state, but by supposedly “well-meaning” types who aren’t from here, have never been here, and probably never will be here.

    I don’t know, it’s not so goddamn simple for each and every one of us to uproot our whole goddamn lives and move out to a coast where the cost of living is twice as motherfucking high, and we have no friends and/or no family.

    I am way more offended by the slang “fly over state” than I am by the term “fucking faggot-ass dyke.” Really. I am.

    You know, the Mormons have no problem sending fuck tons of money and manpower across state lines to get their points across in a massive state that at least has some goddamn protection to some extent. I believe the marriage fight in California is important for us all, do not get me wrong. But gee, it sure would be nice if someone sent mass quantities of cash and labor here to protect my goddamn job, let alone fight to let me get married.

    Leaving isn’t as easy as just bailing when you’ve got the things in my life that I have in addition to and not at all in spite of being gay.

    • Well said, Melerwin. Though I said it would be hard for me to move back to Indiana if this keeps up, the truth is that it would be just as hard, if not moreso, for me NOT to move back. That’s where my family is, my friends, my dogs, and my life. And, as others have mentioned, day-to-day living for GLBT people in Indiana is, for the most part, just like day-to-day living anywhere else, even in France. Indeed, I find Indiana to have a more active, more vibrant gay culture than France, where gay people are, theoretically, much more accepted, and where they have many more rights, including the right to get married. Activists, politicians, and even average Joes and Janes ignore the Hoosier state because it is traditionally a very red state and they don’t think much change could be made there. But I disagree. I think Indiana suffers from a lack of education on the issues, rather than a complete unwillingness to change its mind about them. It would be nice to see more people fighting for our rights, rather than just throwing up their hands and assuming nothing can be done.

      • “I think Indiana suffers from a lack of education on the issues, rather than a complete unwillingness to change its mind about them. It would be nice to see more people fighting for our rights, rather than just throwing up their hands and assuming nothing can be done.”

        That is largely true (um, I’ve had more than 3 hours of sleep this time and am not drunk, so parden my lack of profanity).

        Honestly, Indiana outside the capital and Bloomington operates very much on sociological autopilot. Most people aren’t really passionate for or against queers. They also just don’t like having the flow of status quo disrupted in any way – it’s not just personally towards us. We’re in a state where there’s hardly any fucking traffic, for god’s sake, but the second orange barrels go up to block off a lane to try and work on the road, everyone here pitches a goddamn fit.

        These proposed laws right now are showboating. As mentioned, gay marriage is already illegal. It won’t get the popular vote. Nothing will change here whether or not the amendment does pass. Ok, so it makes it damn near impossible to challenge in court down the road. Guess what? Nobody is doing shit to get it through the courts here anyway.

        The abortion law? I could be wrong but I actually think the entire state has to rely on Indianapolis for abortions as it is. It’s failure to pass won’t make access to them anymore readily available.

        These are subjects that come up because they really change nothing while giving the appearance that the politicians are doing something and that’s the way it goes. Is it the ideal political situation for any sort of social progress? No. But there aren’t enough activists here to really do much because nobody is really very active about anything at all.

        As far as the actual pragmatic processes of life here, though? I live a good life. Nobody really hassles me much. I’ve rarely had anyone say or do anything really shitty to me based off the fact that I’m gay. The people who have are the same people that will find something wrong with everyone anyway. They’ll find fault with the most lily white, conservative, christian middle class soccer mom as well.

        My form of activism is living here and not being a complete fuck up. I live my life in a way that shows the straight people around me that lesbians can be self-sufficient, productive, and reasonably decent human beings. Essentially, we have to be here and be queer to make it harder for them to hate on us because they’ll know us. Prove to them that through our actions, not our words, our lives are not complete disasters. They’ll learn to respect and appreciate that.

        • “Honestly, Indiana outside the capital and Bloomington operates very much on sociological autopilot.”

          Probably the most accurate statement about Indiana I’ve ever heard.

  20. I had to move to Indiana a few years ago and it is like I went back in some kind of time warp. I’m a very average person (white, straight, middle-aged), but I will always be an outsider here. We think there has been a lot of inbreeding in this area! When I go to the polls, I don’t even have a choice of candidates — only Republicans (except for national elections) and I can’t even do a write in unless someone signed up to run a write in campaign for that particular office. They don’t really have much if any rights for workers, women, wildlife or pets. I can’t understand why some of their laws haven’t been ruled a violation of certain constitutional rights. It’s horrible and I have informed my spouse that I refuse to retire in this state.

    • RM, I must admit that I am rather offended by your insinuations about Hoosiers. Indiana is not the backward, backwater hell-hole you make it out to be. And I am pretty sure that there isn’t any inbreeding going on either. Maybe if you gave Indiana a chance and got to know some of your neighbors and fellow residents a little better, you would not only broaden your own horizons, you might also be able to serve as a force for change, maybe educate them about the issues, and help them see things in a different way.

      • Yeah, it’s like wow – did you not even bother to read the posts above yours?
        I’ve lived here my whole life, born and raised and all.
        I also happen to be part of a family with 4 generations of lesbians.
        I can find lots to complain about in Indiana indeed – but far be it from me, a lifelong resident, to try and question the superior expertise of an out-of-state transplant.

  21. Being from IN…shit’s depressing. And Chick-Fil-A. If you haven’t heard. Not only does the state I pay taxes to discriminate against me, so does the university I pay tuition to! Yay!

  22. I currently live in South Bend, IN and unfortunately, this type of story does not surprise me. We have a great grassroots group here in South Bend called, South Bend Equality, that has worked tirelessly to simply try and get the city to add “discrimination on the basis of sexuality” to it’s Human Rights Ordinance. Believe it or not, the amendment has been shot down TWICE by the City Council. Last year, South Bend made it on the Top 10 List of Dying U.S. Cities… That’s because no one in their right mind wants to move to an area stuck in the mindset of the Dark Ages.

  23. This makes me ashamed to have been born in the Hoosier state. I should give her props for her response, though. I’d like to see what his reaction was.

Comments are closed.