Bil Browning

Ding Dong: SJR-7 is dead!

Filed By Bil Browning | April 03, 2007 6:59 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: constitutional amendment, Democratic Party, Indiana, marriage, SJR-7

History has been made, folks! SJR-7, the proposed amendment to outlaw same-sex marriage and civil unions, has been defeated in committee. The amendment is dead.

The committee deadlocked in a 5-5 vote. (All democrats except for Rep Dennis Oxley voted against the amendment.) No amendments were offered to strike the extremely damaging Part B which forced the committee to vote on the merits of the entire amendment.

Dan Parker, Indiana Democratic Party chairman, commented after the hearing, "House Democrats took a stand today against ill-crafted legislation that would have done more harm than good. This wasn't a vote against traditional marriage; it was a vote for protecting vulnerable Hoosiers and promoting job growth. At a time when Indiana is bleeding thousands of jobs each month, the last thing we need to do is restrict our major employers and send the wrong message to companies and workers that might be looking to move here."

None of this would have been possible without the courageous stand taken by Indiana companies like Cummins Engine, Wellpoint, Dow AgroSciences, Eli Lilly, and Emmis Communications. These corporations correctly pointed out that SJR-7 would negatively affect their ability to recruit quality employees by painting Indiana as an intolerant state to live and work in.

Domestic violence advocate Kerry Blomquist also played an extremely important role by pointing out the serious dangers posed to unmarried victims of domestic violence. Her testimony was extremely powerful to committee members who feared Indiana would become another Ohio and be forced to let domestic violence offenders out of jail.

And of course, none of this would have been possible without the work of countless individuals and organizations who have worked tirelessly both behind the scenes and in public to convince legislators of the damage the amendment would cause.

Congratulations, folks. We all deserve credit for this one. It honestly takes a community to pull something like this off. Indiana has come a long way in terms of LGBT organizing (and has a long way to go!) but it's awfully sweet to taste victory again.


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Either great minds think alike or you stole your opening title line from my humble lj....LOL! Like the latter would happen! What WTHR reprorted that Rep. Terri Austin (D-Anderson) said about her vote rather touched me.

One would hope for a two-year reprieve, but we must remember that there is always the next session in which pressure might be brought upon these representatives to vote the amendment ouut of the committee. We need to be ever watchful.

Don Sherfick | April 3, 2007 7:31 PM

Everyone who has worked on any aspect of opposing SJR-, from organizations to bloggers to lobbiests to Letters to the Editor Writers, be they "in your face" or "behind the scenes": A great big THANKS!

We can celebrate for a few days, but there is still work ahead. Let's learn from both the things we did right and the things we could have done better. The worst think we could do at this juncture is to become complacent.

HUZZAH! We did it! We diiiiiid it! *happy dance*

excellent news!

muliebrity | April 3, 2007 10:39 PM

I am so pleased, and so proud of these five. Along with the eleven courageous Democratic senators who voted against it on the floor or in committee (RIP Sen. Bowser), they give me hope for the future of government. Maybe they won't screw it all up completely before my generation gets there.

Marla R. Stevens | April 4, 2007 9:07 AM

The first thing I'd point out to legislators is that companies like Lilly didn't just object to Part B, they understand that ANY marriage amendment creates a hostile climate that will negatively affect their ability to recruit and retain top talent.

The spin counter to that -- that it would be acceptable and unharmful to pass a Part A Only amendment -- has already begun.