Joint Senate Resolution 7 - also known as the Hershman bill - was filed on Tuesday, January 18. The proposed bill would define marriage as being between a man and a woman and outlaw civil unions and domestic partnerships. As it stands now, the wording allows for broader discrimination in areas such as employment. On Thursday, January 20, the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld a ban on gay marriage, but Republican lawmakers still want to pass the Hershman bill.
Even the local conservative newspaper, The Indianapolis Star, doesn't support the legislation:
"Legislators who support a ban would better serve constituents by working to reduce the $600 million budget deficit and passing laws to grow the state economy. So long as a law is on the books banning gay marriage, going through all the work to pass a constitutional amendment would be a waste of time. --January 21, 2005"
Even if you do not care if you have the right to marry in the state of Indiana, you should be very concerned about the pro-active attempt at writing disciminatory laws that will send a very clear message to everyone in the state, as well as to everyone in the country, that we are second class citizens undeserving of equal rights and equal protection under our laws. This is unacceptable!
Now Eric Miller, a conservative Christian, right-wing Repubican former gubernatorial primary candidate, has stepped into the fray with a pro-marriage rally on March 8th. Miller is the founder of Advance America - a group that deems itself the largest pro-family, pro-church, pro-private and home school, and pro-tax reform organization in the state of Indiana. His pro-marriage rally will center around banning same sex marriage and civil unions.
A grassroots effort is under way to fight this, and our first step will be to hold a counter demonstration to Advance America's pro-marriage rally. The time and exact location of this event are yet to be determined. Please watch bilerico-agogo for further postings, or join the GayIndy.org mailing list to get the latest buzz surrounding this counter demonstration.
Put this on your calendars! Please take the time; Please make the effort to join us that day. BRING your friends, family, neighbors, and your children. (We are planning a peaceful counter demonstration.) We need to put faces in front of our fight and we need to show the lawmakers in this state that we will not stand for discrimination based upon sexual orientation. We cannot lie down on this one! We need to come out in high numbers! Fight for your rights!
This grassroots effort encompasses folks from various GLBT organizations. We have put together a volunteer committee for the organization of this and other events. If you would like to participate, please contact me and I will pass your information on. We must stand together!