Everybody seems to be taking their turn on this topic.... here are a few thoughts of my own.
1.) Senator Hershman claims that groups across the U.S. are turning to courts seeking the right to marry. He's got that wrong. Groups across the U.S. turn to the courts seeking the enforcement of the equal protection of the laws, protection guaranteed to all Americans and to all Hoosiers.
Senator Hershman, African Americans in the south have no inherent constitutional right to drink from public water fountains. Neither do whites. But every citizen, black or white or male or female, has the right to drink from the same public water fountain, for all have a constitutional guarantee to equal privileges and immunities. The citizen disgraces himself who attempts to prevent that access to the equal protections of the law. And so do you disgrace yourself.
(Many more thoughts below the jump!)
2.) We know that there are many in the glbt community, and many allies, living in Brownsburg, home to Representative Whetstone, Republican. Whetstone perceives no danger in sending a poorly written piece of legislation to Hoosier voters "to let them decide." If you live in Brownsburg and its environs, you should e-mail Whetstone, let him know you are a constituent, and ask him to do his duty and produce a quality piece of legislation. (That's what he's paid for.)
3.) Today's two of the state's leading corporate citizens spoke. If you are at a University, your institution let you down today, cowering before the legislature's power of the purse. If you have ever wondered how you, your colleagues and administrators would have behaved had their universities failed to take a stand against German attempts to purge Jews from their ranks in Berlin in 1933, look no further. The ball is in your court. Your institutions were quiet. I would think that would be unacceptable to you. What are you going to do about it?
4.) Wellpoint ((317) 532-6000) and Cummins Engine both stuck their necks out for us, for their employees, and for the future of the State of Indiana. You can bet that Focus on the Volk....er.... I mean... Focus on the Family and all such organizations are even now mobilizing campaigns of attack on both. It is essential that you call them and/or e-mail them with your gratitude. They will be hearing lots of anger; they need to hear your support.
5.) Over the months, I've heard and read various negative opinions about the coalition of organizations, Indiana Equality. While critics are entitled to their opinions, I support Indiana Equality to the utmost. I think today's action and many actions which have been taking place quietly but with no less importance, reflect considerable soberness of purpose and intensity of focus on the part of the coalition and its lobbyist, Mark St. John. The surprise of Well point testimony and of Cummins Engine testimony, of course, was no surprise, but effectively protected information until the day of. The testimony offered was also effective.
What's more, in my estimation, we are now witnessing the culmination of strategy knit together on a state-wide basis, with many players and many wellsprings of influence and advice combining. The answers to many interesting questions are under the lock and key of the coalition's nondisclosure policy, for with disclosure would have meant disruption of strategy. That remains true.
While criticisms of Indiana Equality flow, I note that the coalition has never engaged in public defense of itself, nor has it returned criticisms. It has kept its eye on the ball, in my opinion recognizing that the mission of the coalition is not to win a popularity contest, but to win a battle.
(Sometimes, that's unfortunate. I well remember when I lobbied briefly in the year 2000 on behalf of Justice Inc the attacks that were made by vocal critics of Justice, an organization with which I had been somewhat unfamiliar. As I moved to respond to those criticisms, I remember being yanked up short on my leash by the leadership of Justice. I was the read the riot act: My job was to influence the legislature, I was reminded, not to win a popularity contest. Time spent defending the organization from critics was time wasted.)
While others may criticize the work of Indiana Equality and Mark St. John, they have been engaged in a thankless task, with prospects of success that have been limited, and they've kept their eyes on the ball. The battle isn't over, but I thank Mark for all his hard work thus far, and I urge others to do the same by e-mailing him. I also urge others to donate to Indiana Equality.