While I touted the historical significance of the three openly gay City-County Council candidates in a July post, the Indianapolis Star has an article today highlighting how little attention the candidate's sexual orientation has garnered while glossing over one important fact.
In a state with a handful of openly gay elected officials -- fewer than neighboring states -- the candidates are hoping to increase gays' and lesbians' visibility in local government. But for some of the three -- all Democrats -- the greatest significance is that the prospect of their election has made few waves.
Republican leaders say the issues facing Indianapolis should determine a voter's decision, not a candidate's sexual orientation. The result has been little discussion about sexual orientation by either side.
Six years [after passage of Indianapolis' sexual orientation and gender identity inclusive human rights ordinance], says Adam Kirsch, the Marion County Democratic Party's executive director, "I think the party and Marion County have gotten to a place where we can nominate and run candidates for high office regardless of their sexuality."
All three candidates, Zach Adamson, Todd Woodmansee, and Jackie Butler, are worthy of support, but while it's accurate to say that few people have noticed the candidates' sexual orientation, the article only briefly touches on Butler's opponent - the vociferously anti-gay Republican Ginny Cain.
Ginny Cain vs Jackie Butler
In the section about Jackie Butler's long-shot chance at ousting Ginny Cain, the article briefly flirts with what should have been it's own story, but instead lets Cain's extreme and deeply offensive positions on LGBT people escape without a deeper examination.
Cain, Butler's opponent, was more hesitant to discuss the issue, suggesting she wasn't aware Butler is a lesbian. But she said she hoped voters would focus on Butler's qualifications.
Cain has faced heat from gay-rights activists for comments six years ago when the council debated, and then passed, the human rights ordinance. The law added sexual orientation and gender identity to the classes protected from discrimination in the workplace and housing market.
A widely circulated email sent by Cain in response to an inquiry about her position called homosexuality "an unhealthy chosen addiction" that could be overcome with treatment.
Cain declined to comment on that email last week. "No matter what I say, it's going to be twisted," she said.
Twisted? Let's give Cain the chance to speak for herself. After all, in 2005 we originally published the e-mail referenced in the article. Bilerico contributor Seth Kreigh wrote to his councilor asking her to support the then-proposed human rights ordinance. Cain sent this e-mail back to Seth (and anyone else who wrote her):
From: CainforCouncil@aol.com [mailto:CainforCouncil@aol.com]
Sent: Friday, April 22, 2005 4:51 PM
To: Kreigh, Seth
Subject: Re: Proposal #68
It is never helpful to condone and justify someone's unhealthy chosen addiction.
Homosexuality is an addiction to unhealthy sexual behavior.
It can be overcome with proper treatment. Check out Exodus International for confirmation of this.
Homosexuality is very unhealthy.
Homosexuals have a shorter life span, are more likely to contract HIV/AIDS, experience serious bouts of depression and even suicide.
The Bible is clear that sex was created and intended within the confines of heterosexual marriage.
It is meant to mirror our relationship to our Creator.
Who would want to pervert that? Satan...the author of sin.
Jesus came to overcome sin's power over us so that we can live and live abundantly! He came to rescue us...not condemn us. Thus, we need to help those who are entrapped in any kind of unhealthy lifestyle.
I will never support something that is meant for destruction of human beings and our civilization.
CCC - Dist. 5
That's right. She calls being gay "an addiction to unhealthy sexual behavior," makes factually untrue "scientific" allegations about us, cites her religion for justifying secular discrimination, endorses a group condemned by the American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association, and still manages to work in a "pervert" reference.
Neither the Republican nor the Democratic parties condemned Cain's remarks - and they still haven't.
Cain, who giggled and pointed at various LGBT community members during hearings on the human rights ordinance, is the daughter of psychiatrist Vincent Alig. Dr. Alig is most well known for his belief in the discredited and dangerous notion of reparative or ex-gay therapy and his involvement in a scandal surrounding the guardianship of heiress Ruth Lilly (of Eli Lilly fame).
Unlike Michelle Bachmann, who married an ex-gay therapist, Ginny Cain's Marcus Bahmann-figure is her father. Alig was accused of taking advantage of an old lady and publicly embraced dangerous mental health procedures deemed harmful by his peers. From the looks of that e-mail, the apple didn't fall far from the tree.
How in the world can you write an article touting that sexual orientation doesn't matter in that race when the two candidates are a lesbian and one of Indiana's nastiest homophobic politicians?
In some warped reality, the Indiana democrats will come out of the deal thinking if they run a lesbian candidate they'll lose - even though the candidate's sexual orientation doesn't seem to matter to anyone except Ginny Cain.