Bil Browning

Indiana House Passes Marriage Discrimination Amendment

Filed By Bil Browning | February 16, 2011 8:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: marriage amendment, marriage equality, Mary Ann Sullivan, Pat Bauer, same-sex marriage

The Indiana House of Representatives passed a marriage discrimination amendment yesterday afternoon after only a half an hour of debate. The bipartisan vote of 70-26 took marriage equality supporters by surprise - especially with the defection of Minority Leader Pat Bauer.

Indiana.gifIn previous sessions Bauer, as Speaker of the House, killed the amendment in committee. The rumor mill says that Bauer and several Democrats defected after Republicans threatened to redraw their political districts to favor the GOP. Redistricting will happen this year and Republicans control both chambers of the Statehouse and the Governor's office.

"The basic unit of society is the family, and the cornerstone of the family is marriage. Marriage is, and should be, the union of one man and one woman," said the gay marriage ban's author, Rep. Eric Turner, R-Marion.

Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan, D-Indianapolis, called the ban "a blow that hurts thousands across this great state, and taints our constitution with the language of hate," and said she has friends and neighbors who are "deeply, deeply hurt by this legislation."

Bauer won an award from the Indiana Civil Liberties Union in 2005 for working against a marriage amendment. I wonder if he'll return it now.

Sullivan, on the other hand, wrote her comments as a Valentine's Day poem since the vote was originally scheduled for the 14th. She unabashedly supports marriage equality and was recently targeted by the Democrats for being too progressive instead of towing the conservative party leaders' line. You can donate to her campaign here to help keep a real ally in office. Her Valentine is after the jump.

Thank you Mr. Speaker and Members of the House...

Because we are considering this joint resolution on the poorly-timed occasion of St. Valentine's Day, I thought it would be appropriate to convey my comments in the form of a Valentine to all of you.

Roses are red and violets are blue,
If you care about LGBT Hoosiers, here's what to do.
Just press your red button, the color of "no."
It will stop all this nonsense and not strike a blow.
A blow that hurts thousands across this great state,
And taints our constitution with language of hate.
That denies certain citizens rights granted to others,
Excludes them from being equal sisters and brothers.
Removes talented people from classrooms and business,
Weakens the arts, our culture and progress.
Makes all our cities less vibrant, diverse -
The kinds of conditions that make economies worse!
Creates legal questions with answers unclear
And calls into doubt just why we are here.
For no one surrenders their religious opinion,
To serve in this body, to govern this dominion.
But we all know how terribly wrong it would be
To impose our personal moral beliefs on the whole polity.
Please have the courage to keep this document free
Of your personal judgment of what marriage should be.
No one can tell you what to feel in your heart,
So live your lives as you will, but don't tear others' apart.
Please vote no on HJR 6


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Morgan Whitacre | February 16, 2011 8:35 AM

I live in her district. My boyfriend and I both voted for her in November. She is WONDERFUL!

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | February 16, 2011 9:37 AM

Kudos to Mary Ann too........

If this measure ultimately passes, Indiana will join the ranks of many other states that have the same or substantially similar (God, it pains me to have to use those fuzzy terms!) to amendments already on the books in other states.

Unfortunately, in a number of those states, the idea that such "do not recognize" measures deal with a lot more than "same-sex marriage" was not as developed as maybe it is today. Ironically, the "marriage vs. civil unions" discussion occurs in repective "camps" on both sides of the cultural divide, especially in flyover country. Maybe it's time for folks (some said to be demoralized) in our communities in those states to start the task of "pushing back" against their own amendments. They just might have to start with trying to get rid of the ban on anything less than "the M-word" first, and that will probably spark the old "incrementalism" debate, but I think it is worth having.

Without a doubt, my saddest Hoosier day ever. And I've had about 20,000 days.

Your Bauer observation is appropriate. We're all puzzled. Can't figure it out. Betrayal is one word, but confusion is the most-popular sentiment right now. His consituents are in South Bend...his virtual constituents are all Hoosiers, because he's an elected officer of the General Assembly. And he's been there 38 years.

For a preview of Step Two for these zealots, look no further than Arizona, where they're trying to outlaw state universities' same-gender benefits packages. Under the guise of "substantially similar to marriage..."

Their agenda is chilling.

More to come. I promise.

I am waiting for A Day Without Gays to become Life Without Gays. When gay ppl are looking to attend school, get a job, go on vacation, whatever, I hope they keep in mind how welcome they are in the state they are going to, and act on that. *And* tell the ppl they know, so they know too. A lot of str8 ppl, esp young, educated ppl, don't want to live in places with extreme discrimination, such as racism, sexism, homophobia and such.

I know a lot of ppl don't have the opportunities to jsut pick up and move, or don't want to leave where they grew up. I am jsut saying that for the ppl who do, or who are vacationing, think about it a bit? (I'd brag that I won't go to AZ, but then that is one of the last places I'd ever want to go anyhow, lol.)

I'm old, it's too late for me, as I am pretty much stuck where I am due to financial obligations, but if something changed, I would move someplace more accepting (at least more tolerant) and give that place my taxes and such.

Isn't that nice. Indiana is one step closer to being known as the Loser State. Thanks to P. Eric Turner and Pat Bauer. Mr. Bauer is another political hypocrite. Lets go with a vote that is politically expediant. No balls in Mishawaka. They must have receded with his hairline. I only wish I resided in District 6. It's time for a new Representative