As I was going through the web yesterday a story out of Minneapolis caught my eye. It would seem that the state Senate is considering a bill that would guarantee hospital visitation rights to LGBT couples. No one would oppose that, right? Wrong.
Conservative groups are fighting the proposal. Their concern is not about visitation, but putting anything into law that acknowledges same sex partnerships.
"What we object to is the creation of these domestic partner statuses, which is really marriage by another name and that's what we see they are attempting to do", said Tom Prichard of the Minnesota Family Council.
Here in Indiana we have Brandt Hershman who likes to brush off concerns about his proposed marriage discrimination amendment with "That's not what we intend..." but as this clearly shows - even the state sanctioned discrimination they're willing to enact isn't far enough for the religious right.
While Hershman can claim that domestic partner benefits aren't a target (even though he tried to cut public funding for them), who's to say that groups like Advance American or the Indiana Family Institute won't horn in and try to nullify the benefits after passage of the proposed amendment?
After all, that's what happened in Michigan. There the head of the American Family Association, Gary Glenn, pooh-poohed any dangers to domestic partner benefits as a "scare tactic," (Here's Hershman's quote... sound familiar?) and said, "Under that policy, every single person currently receiving any kind of benefit would continue to do so." After the amendment passed? The same organization sued Michigan State University to stop domestic partner benefits claiming that the benefits violated the constitutional amendment.
Legislators would do well to take a long hard look at these snake oil salesman and the false claims that they make about these amendments and the true damage they would cause. When will they realize that these fundies want all gays and lesbians to lose any possible rights we've gained. Their agenda isn't really hidden, so it shouldn't take long...