[NOTE: Gary Glenn of the American Family Association in Michigan, in a length comment, takes significant exception to claims that his organization itself engaged in the "bait and switch" tactics I refer to below. See my further commentary at the end of this article]
I may have missed something in the blogs or in the media, but so far I haven't run across anything from the office of Micah Clark, head of the Indiana chapter of the American Family Association, heralding the fairly recent decision of the Michigan Supreme Court to wipe out same-sex domestic partnership benefits at state institutions because of its "Marriage Protection" constitutional amendment. Not a peep so far from Curt Smith at the Indiana Family Institute's website, and Eric Miller of Advance America also seems missing in action on this one.
Could it have something to do with the fact that the American Family Association in Michigan, as well as other organizational first cousins of similar groups here, have again been caught pretty red-handed in "bait and switch" tactics? They say one thing to get the legislature and public to go along with an amendment, and then once it's on the books they go into court with flip-flopping that makes Mitt Romney look like the Rock of Gibraltar.
Take this for example:
Gary Glenn, President of the American Family Association of Michigan and a strong proponent of the Michigan amendment, was quoted in the October 24, 2004 Ann Arbor News as saying talk that benefits would be affected by the ballot initiative was "a scare tactic," and insisted that public employers could continue to offer domestic-partnership benefits if they want to."
Allied groups parroted similar things in statewide ads prior to Michiganders going to the polls and approving the measure. Yet, you would never have known from the briefs that these folks filed in the Michigan Supreme Court. They insisted that the amendment precluded such same-sex domestic partnership benefits. Now a number of same-sex couples who've lost their benefits are out in the cold.
In Indiana, Clark, Smith, and Miller insisted that SJR-7, their own Indiana-version of "marriage protection" doublespeak, wouldn't touch such domestic partnership benefits. We should, of course, know better simply from the way they've fought adoption of such benefits at Southern Indiana University. Oh yes, they'll do a legal song and dance about how the words of SJR-7 were different from that in the Michigan amendment. They always do, and hope that nobody notices what they say in the briefs they file.
They may point to "subtle differences" between states, but they can't hide what's now become a not-so-subtle practice that Hoosiers ought well to take note of: bait and switch isn't limited to Michigan, where it's worked. It's coming again soon to a General Assembly near you.
That's why they're keeping quiet about the Michigan decision. Now that they can grab onto the intervening decision out from the California Supreme Court and use it as a scare tactic in Indiana (though even a first year law student knows the Indiana courts use totally different standards), they have their fingers crossed that maybe nobody will notice the "bait and switch" routine.
But they will find that some things just don't go back into the bottle that easily.
[As I indicated at the beginning of this item, Gary Glenn of Michigan's American Family Associate has taken significant exception to my citing his organization as being one of those in Michigan engaging in the "bait and switch" tactics I described. In fairness to his position I would ask you to consider the citations he lists. I am in the process of doing further research concerning his responses before making additional comments concerning his allegations.]