Bil Browning

Today's blogger forum

Filed By Bil Browning | October 20, 2006 6:06 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics, Site News
Tags: David Orentlicher, Democrats, Election 2006, John Barnes, local politics, Russell Brown

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Russell Brown, David Orentlicher and John Barnes face off with the bloggers. That's the back of my head there in the picture.

The blogger forum I put together was today. Dr. David Orentlicher (Incumbent - House district 86), John Barnes (House district 89), and Russell Brown (Senate district 31) all sat down with eight local blogs to talk about progressive politics in Indiana. Mike Kole (Libertarian - Secretary of State) had to cancel at the last minute (for a good reason) and Susan Fuldauer (House district 88) didn't show up (although she's since e-mailed me and apologized).

Bloggers who attended were: Steph Mineart of A Commonplace Book, Gary Welsh of Advance Indiana, Don Sherfick of bilerico.com, Bil Browning of bilerico.com, Rob Harrington of Confessions of a Hoosier Democrat, Manfred of ManfredEye, Kelly (Kaj) Jordan of Resisting Inertia, Ben Berg of Stallio!'s Way, and Jennifer Wagner from Taking Down Words.

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Bloggers Rob Harrington, Ben Berg and Jennifer Wagner listen to the candidates during the blogger forum.

I'm pretty sure that most of you visit these blogs every day. Don't you? *grins* Some of them already have posts up about the event (A Commonplace Book, Advance Indiana, ManfredEye, and Stallio!'s Way) and a couple have even promised more to come! Everyone asked interesting and pertinent questions and I don't want to steal anyone's thunder, so I'm going to focus in on my particular question and let everyone else talk about their own experiences.

My question:
"Would you be willing to co-sponsor legislation to add sexual orientation and gender identity to the Indiana civil rights laws to protect the LGBT community from discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations?"

The answers:
John Barnes: "Yes." Barnes, who is a school teacher, added "That is the cutting edge issue in terms of civil rights and it’s one of those issues that we face in the school districts." He related the question back to teaching kids respect for diversity. He had touched on this in another response as well when he commented that Indiana needed to "create a climate of tolerance to attract great employees." A civil rights law would help create that climate, he concluded.
David Orentlicher: "I would support it." Dr. Orentlicher is a strong supporter of LGBT civil rights.
Russell Brown: "Yes." Since we were running out of time, Brown kept his answer short, calling it a "no-brainer."

Don Sherfick asked a question about the marriage amendment and Gary Welsh asked a good one about Pat Bauer's recent gaffe. None of the rest of the questions were specifically LGBT-related (but included stem cell research, campaign civility, and legislative priorities, for example). I'll be really interested to see what everyone else has to say about the forum. A couple folks audio recorded the forum. If someone posts it, I'll link to it for you.

Check out the other bloggers' sites for more about the candidates. I will be. *grins*


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