Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bauer Pledges To Allow Vote On Gay Marriage Amendment

AI spoke too soon. Rep. Pat Bauer (D) has promised, if the Democrats recapture control of the House and he becomes Speaker, he will allow a vote on the proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriages in Indiana. The Howey Political Report online newswire reports that Bauer made the promise so that Republicans would be unable to demagogue the issue in this election. Bauer's announcement nearly insures that the amendment will go before voters for consideration. Patrick Guinane of the Northwest Indiana Times quotes Bauer:

"I just think that the only way for (Republicans) not to (continue to) demagogue it is to have a redundancy. It's too bad it has to go in the constitution, but so be it," Bauer said. "It's not worth the time, the trouble, to point out that it's not a problem (in Indiana), so it's better just to have the vote and see how it goes."
SJR-7, which also denies the recognition of any legal incidents of marriage to any unmarried couple, passed the House and Senate by overwhelming margins in 2005. Because a significant number of House Democrats also support the gay marriage amendment, Bauer's promise to allow a vote on it means that it will in all likelihood pass both the Senate and the House and be presented to the voters for consideration during the 2008 general election.

Bauer's announcement is a major blow to gay rights organizations and supporters throughout Indiana. Bauer's refusal to call down the controversial amendment when he last served as Speaker during the 2003-04 legislative session stopped it from making the ballot this election year. Gay rights organizations have been assuring gay voters that a Democratic-controlled House would effectively kill the amendment. Bauer's announcement will come as a major disappointment and setback for gay rights advocates. Some may wonder why Bauer would dissolution gay voters on the eve of a critical election by making this announcement. Most political pundits were already predicting a Democratic takeover of the Indiana House before Bauer made this announcement. The fallout from the Foley page scandal in Washington has only increased the chances of a Democratic majority.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Eric Miller is getting his message out. A vote for gay rights is a vote against everything else according to Mr. Miller. Pat Bauer saw the writing on the wall and realized that gays cannot win him an election alone, and any perceived pandering to the gay community would stir up the Religious Right and might keep the GOP in the majority. Then let the people decide in 2008.

Anonymous said...

Allowing a vote is not the same as assuring passage. Remember, if so much as a comma is changed in the text passed last year, the whole enactment process starts all over again. Maybe Mr. Bauer is smarter than you think.

Anonymous said...

Yes, 4:37, I am also hopeful that a D majority in the House would provide the opportunity to make some changes in the amendment - which could make it less punitive AND delay it another two years (until the next General Assembly).

Anonymous said...

As a house dem I think 4:37 and 4:59 are on to something.

Advance Indiana said...

Anon 5:16, in other words, House Dems are only interesting in removing language which might adversely affect some unmarried straight couples. It's okay to keep the language discriminating against gays and lesbians.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Gary on this. I am so sick of the democrats lacking big enough balls to stand up and do the right thing. They love it when we volounteer our time and give them our money and then they bale on us when we need them.

Anonymous said...

5:16, I'll hope you're right on the larger issue, because it would crush my belief in participatory democracy, if Mr. Bauer abandoned his prior views. Not that I think he's a brilliant leader. (Haven't you all got anyone else? Why does it HAVE to be him?)

But if this is all a big game, and one comma is going to get moved...don't you think, for one minute, that the far-right won't be on to it.

I'd prefer it not come up at all. And I hoped that would be the posture of a new leadership in the House.

Shame on all of you. Our lives are at stake here...you have no right to play ridiculous punctuation games with our lives.

Let Mr. Bauer stand there and take the right's verbal assaults for refusing to allow a vote.

He's full of piss and vinegar anyway. He can handle it.

DaveSanders said...

Not only is this an issue in and of itself, but if it DOES go to people in 2008 you can bet it will pass. Whole states went for Bush in 2004 thanks to Karl Rove getting these ammendments onto the ballots and using it as a wedge issue to get his base to the polls.

Bad news indeed. There better be a damn good explanation behind this.

Anonymous said...

Well, well, well. Remember this from yesterday?:

"Well, I got news for you, Gary. it doesn't matter which party wins if that's all you care about. At least Republicans will tell you to your face that they won't support your issues. Democrats will pander to you, just like they pander to black voters, but they will never support your issues. At least, not in this state."

Told ya so.

Anonymous said...

My partner desparately wants to move back to California but I keep putting him off, telling him that things will get better and how we vote will make a difference. I couldn't have been more wrong.

There is no progressive party in Indiana. With a scarce few exceptions, the democrats in this state are really moderate republicans. The religious right has spoken, the politicians have listened. Gays are not welcome or tolerated in Indiana.

Whats sad is that these same elected officials wonder why theres a brain drain. There are about to be two more added to that statistic. I've given up on this state.

Anonymous said...

12:21, real class act...we all remembered the toldyaso without being slapped with it.

Why dontcha mosey on over and kick ole' Fingers, too? Stephen Jackson didn't do a good enough job of it last Friday morning.

LafBlog said...

Let's think like a savvy politician -- and I include Pat Bauer in that even though I hate the muskrat on his head....

What Democrat in his right mind would want the Marriage DISCRIMINATION amendment on the 2008 ballot-- along side the Gubernatorial and Presidential campaigns? That would bring out every right-wing nut in the place.. and push many moderates to lean that way. That was the Karl Rove plan in 2004...

No.. I think that there will be much wrangling over this yet-- and a lot of it will occur in back rooms and commitee floors-- where Pat is a huge influence-- but where our supporters are also influential. And maybe even a potential gridlock between Senate and House on this issue will ensue.

The battle will not be won in a day.. or even one election.. but we must continue and use the tools we have.

Anonymous said...

Gary - no matter what you must remember - when it goes to this issue there's a LOT more over on the Religious Right than there are gays and supporters of alternate lifestyles.

There's nothing like this to bring out the RR. Dave Sanders [you the same David Sanders running for the 4th?] said it best on this issue - seeing it on the 2008 ballot will bring out the RR in 2008. If Bauer said he would spike it - that'll bring out the RR now and keep things in the hands of the GOP.

Patrick said...

I'm 4:37; a big mo, a Democrat and a native Hoosier. It is painful to admit, but a majority of our fellow Hoosiers will vote for the amendment for many unsavory reasons. Even if they are tolerant of us otherwise. Unfortunately, it seems the best we can hope for is to buy some time in order to convince voters of the hatred and ignorance behind this effort. I pray that is what Bauer is up to. FWIW, the language affecting unrelated persons in non-sexual relationships is a real issue in other states that ultimately the States' supreme courts and the U.S. Supreme Court will need to address. You cannot abridge people's right to make contracts regarding their property. Afterall, isn't that the fall back that the wing-nuts say is available to we queers instead of marriage?

Anonymous said...

Patrick and Lafblog:

Why even take the chance of letting this get to the floor of the House? If it doesn't get there, the RR will beat Dems up for awhile, but there will be so many more issues clogging the landscape, it won't stand out that much.

The minute this hits the floor for a vote, it's over. I can't see any more than 10 or 12 Dems courageous enough to stand up against this nonsense.

Fight over punctuatiojn? Let it go to the courts?

I never liked Bauer but now I think I know why. Hoping we cna influence him between now and Reorganization Day.

patrick said...

My heart is with you Anon 4:42 but I don't think there is any other realistic strategy. Like or not, the RR's and conservative D's do represent the thinking of too many of our fellow Hoosiers. Unfortunately, the work ahead of us is to change the thinking of voters more so than their state representatives; our version of toil and tears . . .

Mike Kole said...

In other words, Bauer likes using the LGBT community as an ATM and a secure voting bloc. And, LGBT hopes are pinned on Bauer merely being a politician who is speaking out of both sides of his mouth. That may be clever, but it can't be comforting.

As a Libertarian candidate, I observe many wasted votes each November. Votes for Democrats in view of this news certainly qualifies.

Secretary of State is the Libertarian Party of Indiana's ballot access race. If you want to keep at least one party on the ballot that is not afraid to declare that Americans have the right to live their lives their way, you need to vote Libertarian this year.

-Mike Kole
Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State