The Honor Society of Nursing, Sigma Theta Tau International, released a statement March 31 addressing Indiana Gov. Mike Pence’s recent signing of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The law, according to media reports, intends to prevent the government from infringing on individual’s religious beliefs, but opponents say the law allows business owners to use religion as a reason to legally discriminate against members of the LGBT community.
In the statement the STTI, whose headquarters has been located in Indianapolis since its founding in 1922, touted the diversity of its membership, which has more than 135,000 members worldwide and the strength derived from diversity. The organization’s statement said the new state law has caused “great concern.”
“STTI remains committed to the value and active engagement of a global community of nurses,” said the statement. “We represent fairness, equality, inclusivity and respect by the very nature of our core tenets and are against any form of discrimination. We will continue to welcome and celebrate our members’ rich diversity as we always have.”
STTI President Hester C. Klopper, PhD, MBA, RN, RM, FANSA, emphasized the organization’s commitment to diversity and fulfilling its mission to advance world health and celebrate nursing excellence. “Our organizational foundation comes from the meaning of Sigma Theta Tau: love, courage, honor,” he said in the statement. “The board is committed to our core values, and as STTI we have the courage to value diversity and honor the people who help meet our mission. We want all our current and future members and employees to be welcomed wherever we are and will continue to be inclusive of all people.”
According to the statement, STTI’s leadership will “continue to monitor the situation created by passage of this law and will respond appropriately to ensure that STTI provides a welcoming and positive environment for all.”