Friday, February 23, 2007

Will It Be Strike Three For Pat Bauer?

Strike One: House Speaker Pat Bauer's Democratic leadership refused even a hearing on HB 1716--legislation which amended our state's civil rights law to prohibit discrimination on the basis of a person's sexual orientation or gender identity.

Strike Two: House Speaker Pat Bauer's Democratic leadership today killed the hate crimes bill, HB 1459, because they claimed it lost its focus after the anti-gay bigoted Rep. Jackie Walorski (R) filed non-germane amendments to the bill dealing with such topics as abortion.

Strike Three?: House Speaker Pat Bauer announced before last fall's election he intended to allow a vote on SJR-7 because it wasn't worth the fight. SJR-7 now sits in the House awaiting action after passing the Senate on a 39-10 vote.


Anonymous said...

The House Democrats have received their last contribution from me. I could have done no worse giving the money to Brian Bosma.

Anonymous said...

Strike four: That dead rat he has sitting on his head.

Anonymous said...

Let this be a lesson.

This, dear friends, is what happens, when we fail to stand up loudly and proudly for our rights. That happened when Bauer announced last summer, that he would allow a vote on the Amendment. We were strangely silent.

Power respects power.

Anonymous said...

Gary, I'm a little confused. In your previous post you said there was a Tues. deadline for HB1459 (hate crimes), but in this one you wrote "Bauer's Democratic leadership today killed the hate crimes bill."

Also, assuming your first post was correct and it could be brought back up on Tues., is it possible that Bauer did the right thing here?

If the far-right strategy for torpedoing the hate crimes bill is to relentlessly try to amend it with abortion stuff, is it possible Bauer did the right thing and pulled it in order to re-group and figure out how to deal with this religious right attack?

I'm not trying to give Bauer a pass, I would just like to understand a little better just what happened and what the plan is going forward (presumably to Tuesday).

Wilson46201 said...

In the House, the votes are roughly 55-45 against us. The Republicans as a party are united against any progress on gay rights. Most Democrats are vaguely supportive but a few remain reactionary and oppositional. While the Democrats have a slight majority in the House, it is very slight. Gay issues are divisive enough that caucus-unity simply couldn't be maintained. There are many issues up for legislation, I suspect Bauer wasnt ready to wreck caucus-discipline over gay issues when it was highly likely he'd lose.

The onus for failure in this session to get gay-friendly bills through remains squarely with the Republicans who are united in total opposition as a party platform and constituent base. They got elected promising to oppose gay-friendly bills. It was a major wedge-issue they used, often successfully.

A larger Democratic majority in the House is needed. The Senate will always be the last refuge of homophobic scroundrels as long as there is such an overwhelming Republican majority.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Jeff, This is what people have been told upon inquiring why HB 1459 was not called down yesterday on second reading. I would point out that Speaker Bauer waited a week before he even placed the bill on the calendar after it passed out of committee last week, providing ample opportunity for the religious right to inundate lawmakers with their bigoted e-mails opposing the bill. This is what Micah Clark posted at the AFA's website this week:

When I sent you my last e-mail about House Bill 1459, this hate crimes bill was definitely on the fast track to passage, following a 9-1 committee vote.

"Thankfully, thousands have stepped up to let their legislator know that HB 1459 which grants special protections to homosexuals and cross-dressers, is a slap in the face to the principle of equal justice under the law for all victims of crime.

We have received reports that some legislators have received 200 e-mails against HB 1459 from their constituents! This is great news, but your voice is still needed. If you have not yet contacted your State Representative about the unfairness of special protections based upon the sexual choices of crime victims and the threat to freedom of speech that hate crimes laws have created for many Christians, click here to send a message to your legislator"

Anonymous said...

What's playing out here is the worst-case scenario from my perspective.

We knew we needed to have a Democratic majority in the House to have even a prayer of any sort of progress on GLBT issues, but the fear was that too small of a majority coupled with non-supportive Dems would get us nowhere.

So what we get is no progress (in fact backwards progression if SJR7 goes through unchanged), along with attempts by the Dems to block most of Daniels' economic issues (i.e. Major Moves) that more than a few of us have supported.

In other words, if:
1. Hate crimes fails.
2. Civil rights fails (apparently it already has)
3. Marriage amendment goes through unchanged.

We (the GLBT community) will be in EXACTLY the same place in the end that we would have been had the Republicans kept control, and those of us who believe the Democrats lack economic vision will be double screwed.

John Elrod for President?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Jeff, at least half of the House Democrats, are more ideologically aligned with the conservative wing of the Republican Party than the Democratic Party when it comes to social progress. I would contend Rep. Peggy Welch (D), for example, is as anti-gay as any of the most strident House Republicans. Eric Miller and Micah Clark know that all they need do is pipe in a few hundred anti-gay e-mails and phone calls to these legislators and they go running to Bauer that they will get beat over the head in the next election for being for the "homosexuals and cross-dressers". Bauer says not a problem. I'll just avoid a vote on it altogether. Bauer turns to the GLBT community and says, sorry, I tried. And, the GLBT community is supposed to bend over and say, thank you, may I have another.

Gary R. Welsh said...

I would add, Jeff, that real social progress will not happen in Indiana until the GOP begins electing more progressive, traditional Republicans like Jon Elrod to the legislature, and the party stops operating as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Christian right. Only then will you find a bipartisan majority to beat down this prevailing hate-filled and intolerant atmosphere polluting our state.

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with you Gary. Sadly, although none will admit it, I think there are a few partisan Dems for whom their partisanship trumps GLBT progress, and would just as soon see the Republican party stay mired in the Christian-right muck so as to make it easier to justify their own partisan biases.

If any lessons get learned from all of this, I think it will be to take our partisan blinders off and look for candidates of either party who "get it." If the two statewide parties are in essence institutions, I don't think we have any institutionalized friends any more.