Tuesday, November 27, 2012

State GOP Agenda for 2012 Includes Passing HJR-6

The House of Horrors for Equality?
Be afraid Indiana.  Be very afraid.

If you care about marriage equality or, frankly, any relationship that might result in a union other than traditional marriage, you want to pay attention to what happens in the 2013 General Assembly session.

It appears that Indiana lawmakers plan to ram through House Joint Resolution 6 which, once passed by this newly-elected General Assembly, will then go to the voters.  This resolution, of course, would write discrimination into the Indiana Constitution and make it impossible for same-sex marriages to occur.

You might already note that Indiana has a law on the books prohibiting gay marriage and the recognition of same sex marriages from other states.  That doesn't matter to the General Assembly.

HJR-6 was birthed by the Tea Party dominated General Assembly session in 2011.  In order to go to a referendum, it must pass a separately-elected General Assembly.  That's where the 2013 version comes in.

As passed by the last legislature, HJR-6 would do more than just make same sex marriage unconstitutional in Indiana, it would potentially make other forms of legally-recognized relationships not called traditional marriage illegal.  Here's the wording:

Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall 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.
No room for anything but traditional marriage between a man and a woman.

Of course, this would invalidate the domestic partnership ordinance in Indianapolis and in every other city and town that has passed similar ordinances.  It would also not leave any room for compromise.  You see...the new addition to our Constitution would do just that.  It would also affect 614 laws currently on the books here in the state, according to an Indiana University study.

In this post Tea Party political climate, this overbroad proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution could be its own worst enemy.  This doesn't just unfairly affect gay people in Indiana, but its effects could cause same sex couples in domestic partnerships or other forms of recognized relationships to have the recognition of their unions made unconstitutional.

While you would figure that the GOP supermajority would likely vote to pass HJR-6 again, there's always a chance that this thing could be stopped before it reaches the voters.  If you believe that sometimes relationships come in other forms other than marriage, you should be contacting your Indiana House Representative and Senator.  You should also remind Mike Pence that he didn't reach 50 percent in this past election...he was just under that at 49 percent.

The fight is just beginning on this one, and there must be a fight.  Once it's in the Constitution, it's not coming out without federal action.


Annette said...

Thank you Jon. It seems that the state legislature also has turned a deaf ear to the businesses and corporations who told them how bad this amendment would be for the economy - they wouldn't be able to hire bright and talented people from out-of-state. They also don't care about the testimony they've heard from parents whose LGBT children have left the state because of the discriminatory climate in Indiana. They also don't seem to believe that this amendment would also contribute to a public health-hazard called "minority stress" (named and researched by Dr. William Buffie) which is what occurs to minority groups who are being consistently discriminated against and leads to anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol use, suicide, and a host of physical illnesses. Our legislature doesn't seem to care about the damage that passing this amendment would cause. I guess they feel they only represent their heterosexual constituents - not the LGBT community. We all have to stand and say "NO" - we will not allow this amendment to be passed - LGBT and straight community alike! Go to www.indianaequalityaction.org for more information and how you can help!

Anonymous said...

This battle will be interesting. I'm thinking it will get rammed through, which might end up hurting Republicans in 2014 when it goes on the ballot. They missed the boat on this by about 10 years, and I truly beleive the voters of this state will say No, while also saying No to the Republican super majorities.