Sunday, April 20, 2008

A Tale Of Two Jim Schellingers

Last October at Brian Howey's HPR Forum, the Democratic candidates for governor faced off in their first head-to-head public appearance. The room at the Madame Walker Theater where the two spoke was filled with lobbyists, political enthusiasts and State House reporters. The candidates were asked about their position on SJR-7, the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages and the recognition of any similar rights for unmarried couples. Jill Long-Thompson unabashedly stated her opposition to the amendment. She added that she would support the recognition of civil unions for same-sex couples. Jim Schellinger, too, said he opposed SJR-7, but he also made it clear he supported Indiana's Defense of Marriage Act, a law proposed by Eric Miller of Advance America and authored by Rep. Woody Burton and which defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Because of Indiana's DOMA, Schellinger said he thought SJR-7 was "unnecessary" and sent a "message of intolerance."

A little more than a week ago, Thompson and Schellinger gathered at a much less public reception hosted by the Stonewall Democrats at the home of Councilor Jackie Nytes. At this event of Indiana gay and lesbian Democrats, Schellinger's lesbian sister gave a teary-eyed introduction of her loving brother according to one of the attendees. This time when Schellinger spoke there was no talk of supporting Indiana's DOMA. Schellinger said he would veto SJR-7. Someone had to point out that the governor has no role in whether a constitutional amendment makes it to the Indiana ballot for consideration by voters. Schellinger added that he would support a hate crimes law. He still wasn't going as far as Thompson, however, in supporting civil unions.

Schellinger's open embrace of his lesbian sister at this private reception was no doubt a moving experience for those in attendance. It would be easier to believe he sincerely supports human rights advancements for gays and lesbians like his sister, however, if he embraced her when he discussed issues like SJR-7 to the public and where the press is present. His TV commercials, after all, tout the values he was taught growing up with seven brothers and sisters in South Bend. "Most of all , treating other people with dignity and respect," he says. The impression I had from his appearance at the HPR Forum was that he was more interested in pandering to the religious right than advancing civil rights for gays and lesbians. On the abortion question at the HPR Forum, Schellinger said his Catholic faith taught him that abortion was wrong, but he said he would enforce current law, which he has no choice but to do. What does that mean?

11 comments:

Wilson46201 said...

Because of Indiana's DOMA, Schellinger said he thought SJR-7 was "unnecessary" and sent a "message of intolerance."

Precisely Jon Elrod's position!

Aryq46254 said...

Wilson, didnt YOUR candidate call YOUR "lifestyle" a "choice" ???

:) ~~Aryq~~ :)

artfuggins said...

No one can with any grain of seriousness doubt the committment and support of Andre Carson for the GLBT community...anyone doing anything else is playing politics. Woody Myers is the one who called for quarantining people with AIDS, supporting a law reporting your HIV status to the Health Department and making it a law requiring each person with HIV to submit a list of sex partners.....let's be clear on this.

Wilson46201 said...

Eric once again tries to repeat a long-discredited myth. André Carson explicitly was talking about "coming out" openly as LGBT in high school.

Anonymous nobodies like Eric so enjoy repeating stale political attack talking points... pitiful!

Aryq46254 said...

Whether or not he (Carson) SAYS he supports the gay community or not is irrelevant: he thinks being gay is a "lifestyle choice". Thats not true support. Yes, its better than no support at all, but its still a slap in the face.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Oh, come on, people! Next thing, you'll be expecting democrats to TELL THE TRUTH when they are in front of audiences, no matter what persuasion of the audience is!!

Flynn said...

Artfuggins, wasn't that during the early days of AIDS when nobody really understood how it was transmitted? Don't you think that's a big of a cheap shot, even for you?

artfuggins said...

dont you think quaranting people and forcing them to reveal their medical records and sex partners is a pretty homophobic view coming from a medical professional??? No wonder the NY gay community demonstrated against him. The truth is never cheap.

zombie-vampiro said...

Schellinger said his Catholic faith taught him that abortion was wrong, but he said he would enforce current law, which he has no choice but to do. What does that mean?

You really can't figure this out, or are you just being intentionally obtuse?

Lots of people are morally opposed to abortion but don't believe it to be a crime... it's not complicated...

Advance Indiana said...

My point is, zombie, most politicians who want their position known identify themselves as being pro-life or pro-choice. Schellinger is trying to ride the fence.

Flynn said...

No, Artfuggins, I think it's a position that in HINDSIGHT, was a foolish position to take. That's why they say hindsight is 20/20.