Monday, November 20, 2006

Blade: Indiana's New Democratic Congressmen Less Than Enthusiastic On Gay Rights

The Washington Blade takes a look at the crop of 50 newly-elected Democratic congressmen and finds it to be a mixed bag, particularly when it comes to Indiana's Joe Donnelly, Brad Ellsworth and Baron Hill. The Blade found that only 9 of the newly elected Democrats favor marriage equality for same-sex couples. The Blade writes:

Those nine Democrats who favor marriage equality will be at odds with Reps. elect Brad Ellsworth (Ind.) and Nicholas Lampson (Texas), who support a federal constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage.

Indiana’s three new representatives, meanwhile, offered no clear stance on civil unions, and at least two campaigned against gay marriage. Their victories drew uneasy support from gay activists.
Notwithstanding their poor records of support on GLBT rights, Indiana Equality's John Clower boasts of the election of the three new Democrats:

“We are happy with the election of these three people,” said Indiana Equality Chair John Clower. “They helped remove the party in control that has not been supportive on issues of concern to GLBT people in our state.”

But he noted the three were just “marginally better” than the GOP incumbents they will replace.

Ellsworth, who supports the marriage amendment, defeated Rep. John Hostettler, who backed a House bill to stop federal courts from ruling on marriage-related issues.

Joseph Donnelly and Baron Hill, the state’s other new House members, are social conservatives who maintain ambiguous or hostile stances on gay rights issues.

Clower doesn't acknowledge that Hostettler was actually the only GOP congressman from Indiana to vote against the federal amendment to ban same-sex marriages, albeit for reasons other than support for the GLBT community. I guess Clower's message to Indiana's GLBT community is that a Democrat is always better than a Republican whether he votes with you on any issues or not.

According to records on file with Indiana's Election Division, the newly-formed Indiana Equality Political Action Committee raised zero contributions during this past election cycle and had zero expenditures. Clower, however, was quick to take partial credit after the election for the Democrats take-over of the Indiana House, even though one of the most pro-gay rights legislators, Rep. Ed Mahern (D-Indianapolis) in the Indiana House lost his re-election to Republican Jon Elrod. Elrod, however, is probably better on GLBT issues than any Republican legislator elected in recent memory.

18 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

The new U.S. Congress with Speaker Pelosi elected by those new Democratic Representatives from Indiana will not be doing the usual annual GOP-led Marriage Discrimination Amendment hatefests. Anti-gay posturing will not be an election priority like it was under Republican congressional leadership.

It will be interesting to see if an ambitious rising GOP politician like Elrod can resist the pressures of his party leadership to sink into the usual Republican slough of electoral homophobia...

Anonymous said...

Let's hope Elrod does resist. My sense is that he will.

At least, resist better than caving Speaker-designate Bauer. What a disappointment.

Advance Indiana said...

Wilson, they weren't even close to having the votes to pass the federal amendment with a GOP majority. Democrat v. Republican control will make no difference on this issue. The real test is whether it results in success for ENDA or ending Don't Ask, Don't Tell.

Anonymous said...

The GOP is guilty of every bit of what Wilson accusses, but only the most partisan, naive, or stupid believe the Democrats are dependable friends of the GLBT community. Yes, many more INDIVIDUAL Democrat pols are friendly to gay rights than individual Republicans, and the Democrats talk prettier to us, but it when it comes to taking the sword, most fold like a drunk gambler with a pair of two's. It's distressing how many in the GLBT community respond to scraps of emotional teasing like love-sick teenagers. Grow up and face the brutal facts: One party hates us, the other uses us.

Anonymous said...

OK, I'll play stupid...

ENDA? What's that stand for?

Advance Indiana said...

Employment Non-Discrimination Act. It prohibits workplace discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation.

Anonymous said...

Alright Gary, you can have Johny Ho back...

Seriously, you're as partisan as Rush and it against your self-interest...

Advance Indiana said...

No anon 10:50, I'm just not willing to pretend that Ellsworth is any better on the issues when there is absolutely no proof to support it based upon his publicly stated positions.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps what 10:50 Anon means is how can anyone be worse?

Anonymous said...

I'm anon 10:08, and I forgot to add this: It's simply not fair to lump Baron Hill in with Ellsworth and other anti-gay Democrats. Remember, he voted against the federal marriage amendment just before the election in 2004, clearly causing his close loss. I've talked to him about it and he knew it would likely cost him the election, but he did the right thing anyway. A rare act in the politics of our age, but one we must not forget!!! Justice was done with his victory, but he truly took the sword for us then.

Anonymous said...

10:08 is right, unfortunately. One party does use us, while the other won't tolerate us.

It's sad all around.

Then why, pray tell, are we following like lemmings, over Speaker-designate Bauer's marriage amendment flip?

He should be barbecued and roasted. (Strike that...very very bad mental image)

We seem to be willing to "accept" that he has had a "change of heart" on this issue, and will now allow a vote on the House floor. We're even conspiring to change wording and pull some tomfoolery, as if the voters won't recognize this slight of hand and scream loudly. It makes no sense.

But we accept scraps from the table.

Sometimes, even if you're going to lose (actually, ESPECIALLY if you're going to lose), it may make sense to hold your head high and stand on principle.

Don't forget--as with all such issues--younger eyes are watching our every move. We are therefore setting examples with these acts of capitulation. I'm all for compromise, but not when one of your chief defenders pulls the rug completely our from under you.

This business of accepting whatever scraps we're thrown, is corporate politics shoved down our throats.

Sorry for the visual. (Ahem)

Marla R. Stevens said...

ENDA prohibits sexual-orientation-based discrimination at companies covering a miniscule amount of the nation's workforce. It is riddled with exceptions both written in and in practical application and isn't worth the trouble of passage. If they pass amendatory legislation, that would be worth paying attention to.

Marla R. Stevens said...

Clower knows the difference between individual Dems and the effects of which party is in the majority -- and so do you, Gary. Quit pretending you don't. You're not fooling anyone.

Anonymous said...

I think it is time this country gets a reality check. Since when is a sexual diviation a right? Where does this sort of issue lead? You cannot start making one sexual preference a "Rights" issue unless you are willing to do the same with everyone elses diviate sexual life style. I am tried of having the homosexual community advocating from every arena possible while discriminating against traditional values. This is not something our tax dollars should be used for. I think we have some serious issues to deal with in our world. Perhaps we will all have to lose our freedom to realize that the old fashioned American way of life was really not so bad after all.

Advance Indiana said...

anon 5:59, you need to crawl out of your cave long enough to learn that sexual orientation is not a choice. Your religion, however, is a choice and you are legally protected against discrimination on the basis of your religion. I don't hear you complaining about that right.

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that the tone of such conversations have to turn so hateful instead of addressing the real issue. Religion was not part of the discussion and I do not think this is the purpose of this blog. Your discrimination however is coming through loud and clear. You cannot not prove that homosexually is a genetic issue. There are some flawed as well as questionable studies that simple canot be proved. However, are we going to be "bigots" when others come forward demanding that their sexual diviations become a legal right? I am sure they can use the same arguement that they were born that way and simple cannot help but to act out their sexual cravings. If you believe this is a genetic issue then I have to ask if you are saying our society had it right in the first place. This is in fact a mental disorder. I do not mean to be rude but you cannot have it both ways. Either way we all have to choose if we are going to act out every diviate impluse that we struggle with. I simple do not believe this issue belongs in the political arena, or in our tax funded schools. Especially when the goal is to manipulate young impressionable minds. California is a good example of how far the homosexual community is willing to go. They are demanding this lifestyle be taught to pre-kindergarten, and now boys and girls should not be seperated when lined up at school so they will become gender neutral. Where does it all end!

Advance Indiana said...

"It is unfortunate that the tone of such conversations have to turn so hateful instead of addressing the real issue."

Pointing out what the medical community concluded decades ago--sexual orientation is an innate characteristic--is hardly hateful. Your words reflect the thinking of a very narrow-minded person whose thinking breeds the hateful bigotry you profess not to promote.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry I do not mean for this to become personal. Please try to address the issue being discussed. I only ventured off because their is a tendency to support our political views with non-exsistent data. We have two members in our family with doctorates. One is in California and practices phychology. So I have done my homework regarding the medical community. She is concerned with the push within her own sphere to manipulate society and data. My point is once again that this issue does not deserve to be supported by tax dollars nor should government funded schools be used as avenues to advocate for this life style.