This is almost becoming old hat by now. There will be no marriage amendment voted on this year. The Indiana Family Institute is conceding defeat and while expressing "disappointment" at the Republican Senate leaders' decision not to bring the matter to a vote, they blame Democrat Pat Bauer for the whole mess. On the Veritas Rex blog's comment section, Bilerico-Indiana contributor Don Sherfick lays it out on the line for IFI Director of Policy Ryan McCann.
You cleverly misrepresented what the impact of the revised language had been in other states, notably Kentucky. Both Ryan and Tony Perkins were evasive concerning that issue in a published video interview with Bil Browning, and an attempt to remedy its effects in a delayed IFI FAQ on the amendment ended up contradicting some other things that your colleagues had been saying and arguing.
This piqued my curiosity so I decided to make a few phone calls; imagine my surprise to find out from a few Statehouse sources that Don was at least partially correct! In the video interviews I did with McCann, Perkins and IFI's Executive Director Curt Smith, it was patently obvious that they had no idea what they were talking about. Several state senators also smelled the unmistakable reek of bulls--t after the videos were e-mailed around the Statehouse and decided not to force the issue.
While it's great that I did my small part to keep another marriage amendment off the ballot here, there's another aspect of the amendment's death that I'd like to point out.
In fact, let's just get one simple fact out of the way immediately - a marriage amendment wasn't going to pass this year no matter what. I took some licks for saying last year that the LGBT community shouldn't be misled by Indiana Equality's amendment boogeyman. Fearmongering as fundraising is a despicable tactic. Period.
This year, IE sent out a couple of mass e-mails to their members concerning various legislative issues. One was an urgent call to action that the state senate was going to take up the amendment. At the bottom, of course, was a call for donations. The next day, out came a "Nevermind!" e-mail that said the senate wouldn't be addressing it. A few days after that even the Indiana Family Institute is announcing the death of the amendment. But how much money did IE raise off their "The sky is falling!" notice?
On the other hand, IFI was pulling the same tricks. Their e-mail blasts warned of the dangers of same-sex marriage and the downfall of civilization. If you didn't give big bucks to attend their dinner, support their favorite politicians or donate to the org directly, you can be sure queers will be throwing rice and bird seed all over the state! How much money did they raise off the amendment?
After I did my interview with Ryan McCann, he and I stood around chatting. Since we have a rather cordial relationship, I asked him what he thought the amendment's chances were. He admitted that the legislation had no chance whatsoever and wouldn't be going anywhere. Still, he continued, that wasn't going to stop IFI from pushing their agenda.
IE insiders also admitted that the amendment was DOA. With the Democrats in control of one half of the legislature, they were counting on House leadership to seal the deal for them. Curiously, instead of highlighting the rest of our issues (hate crimes law, non-discrimination law, etc) as the primary concern, IE folks stressed fundraising as the top priority.
You know, when I made those videos, getting paid for them was the least of my concerns - it was the result that mattered. So that leads me to my inevitable question...
When will Indiana Equality and the Indiana Family Institute both stop worrying so much about their fundraising instead of equality for Indiana's families?