Thursday, June 27, 2013

Marriage Equality Fight Launches on Homefront

Yesterday, we celebrated.  Today, the next phase of the movement begins in bringing marriage equality to Indiana.

Mike Pence, David Long, and Brian Bosma could barely wait until the ink was dry on the Supreme Court's DOMA decision to announce they would be bringing back up amending the Indiana Constitution to allow only male-female marriage in the state of Indiana.  They believe it's a slam dunk and that it will pass easily to the voters.  I'm not so sure.

2014 will be an election year, so the General Assembly will be watched even more carefully than usual.  The Resolutions that passed the Indiana House and the Indiana Senate in the last General Assembly pretty much outlaws anything resembling marriage unless it's straight marriage.  That includes categories of relationships that many individuals in Indiana enjoy being a part of today.  Domestic partnerships and civil unions between straight couples would be dissolved if this General Assembly passes the legislation and the voters vote to write that discrimination into the Indiana Constitution.  I'm not convinced that the members of the Indiana General Assembly want that kind of heat.  

This process is redundant as well.  Indiana has had its own version of a DOMA-like piece of legislation on the books for years.  This would be like wearing two overcoats on top of your suit to make sure you're extra protected.  I thought we wanted smaller government with less regulation...right?

The Governor is out of this at this point.  While he foolishly released a statement that sounded like it was written in 2004 let alone 2013, the resolutions that will generate the referendum will not cross his desk if they pass.  He could have been content to keep his mouth shut, but he chose to speak.  It's no surprise what he said when he opened his mouth.

At this point, I think Long and Bosma can squeak a resolution through the House and the Senate, but I think you'll see a vigorous fight with a lot of mess along the way.  Stepping right in this wedge issue before an election may be a huge mistake.  If this makes it to the voters on Election Day, it will cause a huge turnout, in my opinion, for an off year election.  With the resolution that this legislature has to pass, I'm not sure that's a positive thing for the Indiana GOP.

If 2014 wasn't interesting enough on its own merit, it just got more interesting with more at stake for marriage equality advocates across the state.  

1 comment:

Doug Meagher said...

Sorry to disagree Jon. The republicans of 20 years ago might have understood inevitable change and backed off, but not the current bunch running Indiana. The amendment will sail out of the General Assembly with more than a few cowardly Democratic votes. And then Eric Miller and Micah Clark will be driving busloads of mega-churchers to the polls in November. And then it will be time to decide whether to accept second-class status from the State we've lived in, worked in and supported with our tax dollars all of our lives or leave.