Bil Browning

Would the real Brandt Hershman please stand up?

Filed By Bil Browning | March 08, 2007 4:56 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Brandt Hershman, domestic partner, domestic violence, hypocritical motherfuckers, Lafayette, marriage, New Jersey, Purdue, SJR-7

Hmmm. Let's see here...

We've got Brandt Hershman, Family Values Champion and Abortion Foe on one hand. Until the news reports surfaced that he'd forced his wife to have an abortion and then divorced her. Whoops.

Then we have Brandt "What Part B?" Hershman that denies that SJR-7 would have negative effects on domestic partner benefits. After all, he only wants to define marriage - he has no problem with domestic partner benefits, right? Uh. No.

Remember how I posted earlier that Hershman had attempted to add an amendment to a budget bill in 2003 that would have denied public funding to universities that offered domestic partner benefits? Purdue had started offering the benefits, and Hershman had his panties in a bunch...

A friend of the blog passed along this Lafayette Journal & Courier editorial from April 28, 2003. I'll post a clip here (emphasis mine) but the whole editorial is posted after the fold.

Hershman, a Republican whose sprawling district includes much of Lafayette, said he was prepared a few weeks back to offer a budget amendment that would have prohibited the use of state money for domestic partner benefits offered at Indiana's public universities. The provision would have forced Purdue - which began offering health and other benefits to gay and lesbian couples on Jan. 1 - and other state schools that do the same to cover that expense on their own.

"We ought to seek a public policy debate on this, and not just at the (university) trustee level," Hershman said last week. "If Purdue wants to do it through private donations, that's OK. But when you're talking about taking public money ... to basically put us on the road to legitimize what we haven't legitimized by law ... they should have to come down and explain why."


Wow. Doesn't that make you feel better? I believe him now! In fact, maybe I should believe that he doesn't really think that SJR-7 will effect domestic violence laws. After all, he's denied that - but then quietly sponsored a bill to change the definition for domestic violence laws.

April 28, 2003
Section: Opinions
Page: 7A

EDITORIAL Staff Journal and Courier

Domestic partner benefits still right for Purdue

For a piece of legislation that never left state Sen. Brandt Hershman's desk, a proposed limit on public money for gay and lesbian couples to share in workplace health benefits has reinvigorated a cultural clash.

Hershman, a Republican whose sprawling district includes much of Lafayette, said he was prepared a few weeks back to offer a budget amendment that would have prohibited the use of state money for domestic partner benefits offered at Indiana's public universities. The provision would have forced Purdue - which began offering health and other benefits to gay and lesbian couples on Jan. 1 - and other state schools that do the same to cover that expense on their own.

"We ought to seek a public policy debate on this, and not just at the (university) trustee level," Hershman said last week. "If Purdue wants to do it through private donations, that's OK. But when you're talking about taking public money ... to basically put us on the road to legitimize what we haven't legitimized by law ... they should have to come down and explain why."

Hershman withheld the amendment at the request of Senate leadership, but not before touching off a mini-debate on these pages. Suffice it to say that Hershman probably won't get an invite to the pending nuptials, announced two weeks ago in California, between rocker Melissa Etheridge and actress and Lafayette native Tammy Lynn Michaels.

Because he says he might broach the subject in the legislature again next year, consider this an affirmation of our support for Purdue's policy on benefits for domestic partners.

Last year, Purdue trustees agreed that the university's gay and lesbian employees willing to swear they are financially and emotionally bound to a same-sex partner would be able to qualify for the same health and insurance benefits, tuition fee cuts and access to all the university offers to legally married couples. Indiana University and several others in the Big Ten have similar arrangements. Purdue president Martin Jischke touted the move as one of "inclusiveness and fairness," giving the university a perk not only to use in recruiting gay and lesbian faculty, but also as a symbol of a forward-thinking campus for people looking for a campus that welcomes the most creative, open minds.

Since Jan. 1, 17 Purdue employees have signed up for one or more benefits offered for domestic partners, according to the university's human resources office.

While we agree with Hershman that Purdue policy opens the door to some broader questions - for one, what about heterosexual domestic partners? - we disagree with what he sees as potentially damaging effects. His constituent polling might indicate otherwise, but we don't see domestic partner benefits as devaluing marriage or corrupting social fabric in some underhanded way. If anything, it seems to encourage the community and household stability traditionalists advocate - though packaged in a different way.

Purdue made the right move on domestic partner benefits, and the legislature should recognize that, too.


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Who he is, is becoming quite clear. Pretty creepy isn't it.