J.D. Ford becomes Indiana’s first openly gay lawmaker

Article by Tony Cook, Indianapolis Star

(Photo: Matt Kryger/IndyStar)

J. D. Ford, a Theta Chi member, who turned 36 on Tuesday, was one of the few bright spots in Tuesday’s election for Indiana Democrats. He ran an unabashedly progressive campaign in the district that includes suburban Indianapolis and Carmel.

Ford’s win comes after narrowly losing to Delph four years earlier. Ford campaigned on increasing funding for public schools, raising the minimum wage, protecting the environment, fighting opioid addiction and passing hate crimes legislation that includes protections for gender identity and sexual orientation.

Indiana is among five states without some type of hate crime law, which generally includes enhanced sentences.

“Every marginalized group — people of color, women, Muslims, Jewish Hoosiers, seniors, LGBTQ+ Hoosiers, just to name a few — you now have a voice in the Indiana General Assembly. And I only intend to amplify it,” he said.