Statement from the FGS Board of Directors and Executive Committee
|Federation of Genealogical Societies|
Over the past few days, the Federation of Genealogical Societies (FGS) has been carefully watching the events unfolding in regards to the Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
As host of past conferences, and the upcoming FGS 2018 Conference in Fort Wayne, the state of Indiana has greatly benefited from the support of FGS over many years. We have also enjoyed the support of our member organizations in Indiana, including the Indiana Genealogical Society, the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana, and the Allen County Public Library and will continue to lend our voice and support.
Planning for FGS conferences is part of a five-year process, and we cannot predict changes in legislation that will have a negative impact on our events. In making plans for its 2018 conference, FGS pledges to only conduct business with vendors and venues who have a clear non-discrimination policy and is deeply encouraged by the public statement made by the city’s official convention and visitor’s bureau, Visit Fort Wayne affirming “our city and hospitality industry is 'open for business' without restriction or limitation.”
FGS will work to ensure all Indiana vendors associated with the conference are listed by Visit Fort Wayne as “Open for Business” throughout its event planning process for the 2018 conference. The FGS 2018 conference will be open to all.
Sadly, the situation in Indiana is not the only place where open access to all is threatened. Therefore, FGS is acting immediately to implement non-discrimination policies in current and future conference planning, and across all FGS activity areas.
As an organization, FGS is open to all, and strives to only work with businesses that have clear non-discrimination and non-bullying policies in its activities.
Further, FGS strongly encourages its member societies to examine their own non-discrimination policies and the policies of those they conduct business with. Those providing event space, catering services, editorial skills, technology services, etc. should strive to create an environment that is accepting and open to all.FGS remains supportive of all member societies within the state of Indiana and elsewhere who work to adopt a spirit of non-discrimination and acceptance.