On This Day in IUPUI History: March 31, 1993

March 31, 1993. 

On this day, Craig Dean and Patrick Gill, a gay couple, spoke in Lecture Hall. The two men had requested the right to marry in Washington, D.C., and had been refused. They filed a discrimination lawsuit against the District of Columbia in 1990. In 1993 they were on a national speaking tour. The School of Liberal Arts Student Council and the Advocate, a campus alliance of gay, lesbian, and bisexual students, co-sponsored their appearance, which was titled: "Gay Marriages: A Civil Right."

During their appearance, Dean said, "You live with discrimination or you do something about it. We decided to do something about it."

In 1995 a federal appeals court panel of three judges ruled against them. District laws forbad gay marriage, they ruled. Since then, rulings in the United States Supreme Court have overturned bans on gay and lesbian marriage.

Coincidentally, on March 31, 2015, IUPUI chancellor Charles Bantz issued a statement disapproving of a so-called "Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act" that had recently passed the Indiana General Assembly and signed by Governor Mike Pence. The law afforded legal protections to persons and groups to discriminate against gay, lesbian, and other persons. In his statement, Chancellor Bantz seconded Indiana University president Michael McRobbie's statement that "Indiana University will recruit, hire, promote, educate and provide services to persons without regard to their age, race, disability, gender, gender identity, marital status, national origin, religion, sexual orientation or veteran status. Equally important, we will not tolerate discrimination on the basis of any of these same factors." Statements against the law from university leaders, mayors, and major corporations located or doing business in Indiana, as well as withdrawal of conventions and sporting events were instrumental in Indiana legislators quickly enacting an amendment to the law prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender or sexual orientation.

IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz, 2003 UA24-004975e

To study IUPUI's history, please consult records in the IUPUI Special Collections and Archives. Contact staff at speccoll@iupui.edu

Updated Mar 31, 2019 by Editor Name Missing