Sunday, June 12, 2005

Keller Picks Up New Support for Proposal 68

Scott Keller, an Indianapolis Republican City-Council councilor and co-sponsor of Proposal 68, announced yesterday to a crowd in attendance at the Indy Pride festival that he has found another Republican councilor to join him in supporting the measure which will bar discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or identity. Keller, who was the lone Republican councilor who voted for Proposal 68 on April 26, 2005, when it was voted down by the city-county council on a 18-11 vote, announced that Lance Langsford, a Republican council member representing a far eastside district in Warren Township, will join him in voting for Proposal 68. With Langsford's vote supporters now have 12 votes in favor of Proposal 68, just 3 votes shy of the 15 votes needed for its passage. As first reported here last week, Keller promised that he would secure more Republican votes for the proposal, and he predicted the proposal would be adopted before year's end.

Democrat councilor Jackie Nytes, also a co-sponsor of the measure, expects to have more Democratic votes when the proposal comes up for another vote before the city-county council this fall. She was disappointed when five of her fellow Democratic councilors, including city-county council president, Steve Talley, joined 13 Republicans to defeat the measure. In addition to Talley, Democrats Patrice Abdullah, Sherron Franklin, Ron Gibson and Mary Moriarity Adams all voted against the measure. Talley, Abdullah, Franklin and Gibson are all African-Americans.

Supporters are particularly disappointed with Abdullah's and Gibson's votes. Abdullah, who represents downtown neighborhoods, such as Lockerbie, Mass Avenue, the Old Northside, Chatham Arch and Fall Creek, has more gay and lesbian constituents than any other council member district. Abdullah attributed his religious beliefs as the basis for his vote; he is a Muslim. As a result of his vote, he will almost certainly face a primary opponent from his disappointed constituents. Gibson, an at-large councilor who has hopes of succeeding Rep. Julia Carson upon her retirement, may have seriously damaged his future political success within the Democrat Party in Marion County by alienating a key constituency. Rep. Carson and Democrat activists, including Indiana's Stonewall Democrats, are likely to work against any effort by him to win Carson's congressional seat in the future. Abdullah and Gibson are likely to face heavy pressure to switch their votes. City County-Council President Steve Talley's no vote was not a big surprise because of his history of being unpredictable, though it was a major disappointment to the proposal's Democrat supporters. Talley was installed as council president in January when he and a few of his Democrat colleagues conspired with the entire bloc of Republican councilors to over-throw Rozelle Boyd from that post.


Kevin said...

regarding prop 68, here is a link to a blog where Scott Barnes lists various Ginny Cain quotes on this issue.

Steph Mineart said...

As one of Abdullah's gay constituents, I plan on making sure he faces (and loses to) a primary opponent who will support Proposal 68. I talked to him about gay issues before he was elected, and he assured me that he was whole-heartedly against any discrimination against gay people. He's going to pay the price for lying to me to get my vote.

Advance Indiana said...


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