Am I the only one tired of SJR-7? By this point in the game, I'm tired of blogging about it, worrying about it, and reading about it. While today's Indy Star has two more articles about the demise of the constitutional amendment, to quote Thomas from BlueIndiana.net, "I would have been more happy to see this sort of strong condemnation of Sen. Hershman and Eric "all the hate that money can buy" Miller before SJR-7 was dead, but I suppose you take what you can get."
Let's start with Matt Tulley's article "Just desserts for backers of amendment."
Amendment supporters are mad at Austin. They should be furious with themselves.
In their zeal to bash anything gay, they pushed a measure that scared many people who read it straight. In a homophobic tizzy, backers tried to push into the state's most sacred legal document words that, for starters, could have prevented prosecutors from pursuing domestic violence cases.
Plain and simple, the folks who most wanted the constitutional amendment crafted a technically flawed piece of legislation. You don't put technically flawed pieces of legislation in the Indiana Constitution.
Tulley's piece pulls no punches in describing the homophobic frenzy of amendment backers. Meanwhile, business reporter Erika Smith's story "Anti-gay bill could have hurt state image" is another article that's great in the post-mortem, but would have been more helpful before the vote in committee.
"How does the old saying go? When you land in Indiana, set your watch back 20 years," said Jeff Smulyan, chairman and chief executive of Emmis Communications Corp., which owns radio stations around the world. "Hopefully, we can show we're more inclusive than people think."
Last week, a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage failed in the Indiana General Assembly. Five of the state's largest employers had urged its demise. It remains to be seen whether the defeat will bolster Indiana's image among gays, lesbians and other minorities.
The state already has plenty of strikes against it.
"Indiana is not New York. It's not Boston. It's not a big city. There are things that make Indiana a more difficult sell," said Mark Land, spokesman for Columbus-based engine maker Cummins. "You don't need anything additional working against you."
Either before or after the committee vote, both of these articles are needed for what it says to the average Indy Star reader: Indiana already has a reputation for intolerance and a lack of diversity. For whatever reason, Hoosier hospitality has become a relic of the past. We already know this. Hopefully now, even more folks will realize what a danger that is to our state.