Bil Browning

Indiana's marriage amendment: Now with more anti-gay feeling

Filed By Bil Browning | January 12, 2009 7:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Dave Cheatham, Eric Turner, gay marriage, Indiana, marriage amendment, New Jersey, same-sex marriage

Indiana State Representatives Eric Turner (R - Marion) and Dave Cheatham (D - North Vernon) introduced a resolution today to amend them state constitution to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. After language concerns buried the previously proposed amendment, the wording right-wingers have chosen this time points out some fascinating tidbits for those who've been following along. It reads:

"Only a marriage between one man and one woman should be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized."

In previous sessions of the legislature, amendment proponents have spent considerable time trying to convince moderates that they were not attempting to outlaw civil unions - only "marriages." This time, the religious right is clearly stating that they want to ban civil unions too, but spent considerable time telling reporters that they're not after domestic partner benefits. They touted that the language of this resolution mirrors Kentucky's amendment - where university domestic partner benefits were challenged as soon as the amendment passed.

After the jump, a short interview with Indiana Family Institute Policy Director Ryan McCann.

I wasn't able to capture the actual press conference since the room was packed with a veritable Who's Who of Right Wing Nutjobs including the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins. Several far-right politicos also attended - including Rep Jackie Walorski (R), a notorious anti-abortion zealot currently under suspicion of violating House ethics rules, and former Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Miller.

IFI and Perkins are hosting a dinner tonight to talk about the amendment with their supporters. I plan on attending. We'll see how it goes.

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How in the name of whatever is holy could you attend a meeting with these bigots? There is no excuse for their hatred and narrow views. Why oh why do we remain in this rightwing hateful state? There are other places so much more welcoming. I wonder every single day about Indiana--it's Governor is truly not a sexist, a racist or a homophobe, yet he does nothing to shut the right wing down (and, make no mistake, he could).

I have heard that Mitch's sibling is gay. I don't know if that's true or not, but he certainly isn't contributing to the discourse on the rights of GLBT people by sitting idly by while these nutjobs introduce their divisive legislation.

I don't expect it to pass, but it has before and could again. Why not just disenfranchise a whole majority because a bunch of superstitious assholes who think it's god's will.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 13, 2009 7:59 AM

I left in 1976, but they still tried to keep me out of the preop with my partner in a Catholic hospital.

I thought I'd get to preview this but I pushed the wrong button. Oh well ... of course I meant a minority, but it reads fine either way.

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | January 12, 2009 8:19 PM

Wasn't this the same Ryan McCann, or maybe it was Sue Swayze or someone else from the Indiana Family Institute that insisted over and over that gay and lesbian couples can always go to an attorney and have papers drawn up to give them what married heterosexuals have? Sounds pretty "substantially similar to me", yet their revised amendment would now make such paperwork worthless, because neither courts no anybody else could recognize and enforce them.

It used to be only about "activist judges" so they said. The legislature could still enact civil unions, so they said. Now at least they've dropped that pretense and acknowledge that they want to care out a big section of the Indiana Constitution's Bill of Rights and make married heterosexuals a "superclass", while everyone else takes second class citizenship.

Fixing the economy, schools, medical system, taxes, etc etc etc X100,000 are less important to these people than writing discrimination into the state constitution for the first time. These people have screwed up priorities and do not deserve to be reelected.

Oh where, oh where have I heard these "substantially similar" words before? Oh, now I remember. The great State of Florida Amendment 2 wording was "substantially similar." .... “In as much as marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

Those slimey bottom-feeding scumbags just keep going after us, changing a few words for each new state. I hope the Indiana legislature is more progressive then the 62% of freakin' fools we have in Florida.

They're taking that old saw, "If at first you don't succeed..." to heart. Or whatever they have in place of their hearts.

Where do you find this information, anyhow? I can't find it on the state's site.

I went to the IFI's press conference at the Statehouse today, Damian. I copied it from the press release.

The Indianapolis Star is also reporting the same story now.

It was right there in the article.

God, I feel stupid now.

brandon monson | January 12, 2009 11:13 PM

this is superb

Just for everyone's info, the exact language was used in Kentucky, as Bil mentioned. And they challenged their state schools' DPBs. I know that at least at U of Louisville, same-sex partners lost coverage but maintained eligibility.

It's nice to be offered a health care plan, but you've still gotta pay the bill.

That's effectively the same as the one we have here in Wisconsin - is the group that fought that, if you want to see what's happened since 2006.

Reference: (a hateful one claiming that if it was a ban on gay marriage that it would say "ban" or "gay" or "homosexual" in it then some blaming of the media, but it's the first one with the text that I could find)

A pox on all their houses....

Honestly, this is getting to be tiring. I'm glad there are those who are younger and of greater lasting power to fight these intrusions on civil liberties.

Which House Bill is it?
Trying to find it on the General Assembly webpage.

These are all of the current 2009 SB and HB:

Don Sherfick Don Sherfick | January 13, 2009 9:35 AM

As Alice said in "Through The Looking Glass": This gets curiouser and curiouser.

Aren't these the same folks who said same-sex couples can gain the same legal rights and benefits that their heterosequal counterparts have (for free) by going down to their favorite lawyer and have papers (wills, powers of attorney, contracts, joint deeds, etc.)drawn up and presto, what's the fuss about?

Now, because of the "substantially similar" language in the revised version of SJR7, that's out the window. Courts won't be able to recognize or enforce them, making them worth less than the paper they were written on.

All from caring loving folks, you understand.

I just viewed the video. The exmple you were trying to give Ryan towrds the end is the Patrick Atkins case. His family owns Atkins cheesecakes in Noblesville. As much as Ryan reads your blog, I can't beleive he acted unfamiliar with it.

just watched the video.

For a lobbyist in Indiana who works on gay issues, this McCann is embarrassingly uninformed. He should get himself an education.