Bil Browning

Screw the people - let's bash some gays

Filed By Bil Browning | July 18, 2007 1:38 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Brian Bosma, constitutional amendment, homophobic behavior, Indiana, marriage, Mitch Daniels, property taxes

MFI040.jpgSo what's this I'm hearing through the grapevine? No sources will go on record to confirm this, but it seems that property taxes aren't the only subject of conversation for Indiana state lawmakers right now. (For those who don't know, most of Indiana is in a revolt over dramatic increases in our tax rates. For instance, our taxes doubled on the house we just bought last year. Almost every day there have been rallies and protests throughout the state - including one this weekend in downtown Indy that drew more than 1,000 folks. See this local site if you'd like to know more.)

While some lawmakers are hollering for a special session of the General Assembly to fix the problem, there's been some hesitation on the part of the legislative leadership and the Governor to actually address the problem before the next session. Are you wondering why? Yeah, me too. It isn't often that you have Hoosiers so up in arms that they're ready to throw a Boston Tea Party on the White River. What could be the hold up?

From what I'm hearing, the Republicans are still angry that SJR-7, the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions, failed on a tie vote in the House earlier this year. Before they're willing to address property tax reform, they want the amendment back on the table and passed in the same special session. No amendment - no tax relief. And since Republican Governor Mitch Daniels (or "The Blade" as BushCo called him when he worked on their team) is to blame for the dramatic increases in taxes, is it no wonder that the Republicans are desperate for a scapegoat?

But what does this say about the state legislators? To me, it reinforces the notion that they're not as concerned about the well-being of our state as much as they're worried about pandering to the base and using LGBT Hoosiers as whipping posts for a maddened crowd. These "leaders" are willing to screw over the entire state - forcing average citizens to possibly lose their homes and driving them deeper in debt - in order to bash on gays and lesbians. They are truly scraping the bottom of the barrel.

And sadly, I have to wonder how the Dems will react. After all, it isn't as if the Dems here in Indiana stood by marriage equality, civil rights or even the hate crimes bill. If the amendment hadn't stalled in committee, it would have sailed right through the House floor vote. Indiana's Democrats are more conservative than some blue state Republicans! (See Representatives Brad Ellsworth or Joe Donnelly's guest posts on why they voted against the hate crimes bill, for example.)

Will the Democrats sell us down the river to quiet the property tax mob? Will Governor Daniels - who recently announced his support of the marriage amendment after quietly telling the state's Republican LGBT leadership that he opposed it - acquiesce to the rabid right? With his last primary challenger, wing-nut activist/lawyer/psuedo-minister Eric Miller, using his fake 501(c)(3) organization to continue building funds and beat the property tax drum, Daniels is bound to be feeling pressure to make the whole problem go away.

Anyone else hearing these rumors or have more to add to the story?


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Haven't heard the rumors, but I'm thinking it's time y'all move out of Indiana.

Joe Miller | July 18, 2007 3:47 PM

I've heard the same rumor but cannot confirm or add anything to your story, BIl.

Haven't heard the rumors, but totally believe it. Most people in politics are big children. When they don’t get their way they stomp their feet and then take hostages. Who is it that Jennifer thinks should move out of Indiana?? The Gays, The Republicans, The Christian Right, The Bigots, or the people born and raised in Indiana with the idea that all people are equal under the law and should be treated as such?

Bil, love you man, but really, don't let the Dems use the community again. Don't you get it? The Dems don't want a special session, governors always come out the winners in a special session. By using the "gay threat" and conservatives going after the Gov, the Dems can effectively block the Gov from calling a special session and getting rid of the Dems sacred rebate check deal. That's what I've heard, the Dems are using this issue to make us all crazy and block a special session. Nice diversion. Totally unfair.

You make an interesting point, Anne. My worry isn't so much that the Dems are using this to distract from the property tax debate, but more that they'd be willing to cave to get the folks upset by the tax increases off their backs. No one is rallying spontaneously about SJR-7 - they are about taxes. Would the Dems f--k us over so they don't get voted out over taxes? I'm guessing yes.