I just had a conversation that brought to the fore questions that I think need ventilating. Start the fans!
I have gotten the impression from several sources, and if I am wrong, I am pleased to be wrong and nevertheless pleased to have the occasion to discuss this issue. I have gotten the impression that IE and HRC in their upcoming convention are going to engage in training so that the community can suppress our agenda that consists of equal rights for everyone and concentrate on issues that will get "our friends" elected: issues such as the environment, or for all I know I-69, or daylight savings time, or medicare waivers.
Am I too subtle?
WRONG! WRONG! WRONG!(Remember I do not know that this is the plan, but if it is, I am against it, and if it is not the plan, I am against it.)
We have gained the upper hand in the political discussion. Eric Miller has decided not to run for office again, because he underestimated the good sense of Hoosiers. There is no public forum where the forces of evil--Eric, Micha Clark, Eric Turner, Brian Bosma, Brian Hershman, Ginny Cain, Scott Schneider, Pat Miller, Ike Randolph, their friends and relations--will engage us. They have nothing to say that could possibly persuade anyone who is not already committed to their cause beyond reason; they can only elict disbelief and ridicule, while we have a lot to say that will set their minions thinking. Bad minions, do not think!
They must be thanking their god if they know that we are about to cede the high ground to them and divide our forces voluntarily. Not everyone who supports equal rights takes the same side on "the environment" or I-69, or any of the other issues that constitute Hoosier politics. With each extraneous issue we espouse to "elect our friends" we will lose most of those people who do not share our view on that particular issue. They will take our slience on equal rights to mean that we are ashamed of our position. The history of coalitions, the experience of the lovely couple from Ohio I met on the Fourth, tell us that "our friends" will accept our support, as Ike Randolph did in the last city-county election, and then vote against us, as they did when a majority of Democrats in both houses voted for SJR-7 (now called the Marriage Discrimination Amendment) and when the House Democrats sponsored the Indiana version of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
(We have real friends in politics, in both parties, on both sides of many issues. We owe them our support. We owe them our time and money and we owe them that we represent them in ways that meet with their approval and help them in their campaigns. I am not talking about waivering in support for our true champions or staying on their message. That should be easy: our true friends do not miss an occasion to stand up for all of our rights.)
I would love to see Brian Bosma defeated, if only as Speaker, and I can see the value of "flipping the house"; but what we need to do is take the advantage we now have and build on it. We need to press home our advantage. We need to build a broadly based consensus that when our constitutions talk about equal rights, we all understand that those words mean everybody or nobody. We need to talk about equality and families in every venue in every corner of the state until the 60% to 80% of Hoosiers who favor "equality for gays and lesbians" in every recent poll, understand what that means and that it must include everyone, specificly transgender Hoosiers. I have no scientific data with which to bamboozle you, but I feel the churches finally starting to move. I hope I am right, and that when they have looked around and found that they are not alone, they will take heart and start to emulate each other and begin to preach inclusion.
Only when that overwhelming majority of Hoosiers is conscious that their instincts are correct and that, to quote the Log Cabin, "inclusion wins" will we be safe and will our two constitutions cease to be in mortal peril.
We cannot achieve that by dividing our forces and alienating our supporters. We cannot achieve that noble goal by giving up our advantage now that we have the enemy on the run. Far from being quiet about who we are and what we want, we should trumpet it from the rooftops (think you Darien), politely and respectfully but day and night and with the unrelenting authority of Gabriel.