Monday, December 01, 2008

Gay Marriage Amendment Ban Dead For This Session

GLBT activists are being given a bit of a reprieve in efforts here in Indiana to enact a state constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriages. A state law enacted by the legislature in 1995 already bans same-sex marriages, but proponents of the ban want to see it written into Indiana's Bill of Rights. Sen. Brandt Hershman, the principal author of the amendment during the past several sessions, says he believes action on the amendment, if it is to occur, should begin in the Indiana House where it died during the last legislative session. House Speaker Pat Bauer says the state law is enough. "I've been asking people to show me that the current law has been broken, and they haven't showed me yet. I want to see the couples that were illegally married," the Star's Bill Ruthhart quotes Bauer as saying earlier this year.

Right wing fanatics on the issue haven't thrown in the towel yet. Advance America's Eric Miller tells Ruthhart he plans to continue the fight. Now that 30 states have enacted similar bans, Rep. Eric Turner, the principal proponent of the amendment in the House, laments to Ruthhart that Indiana is becoming a bit of anomaly because it has not enacted an amendment. "Certainly there are those, including the speaker, who say we have a law, and I understand that rationale," he said. "But we also have judges who sometimes interpret the law differently than we intended, thus the need for a constitutional amendment."

The same-sex marriage ban process is following a historically similar path as that taken by similar efforts to bar interracial marriages. The vast majority of states in the earlier part of the 20th century had enacted either legislative or constitutional bans preventing couples of different races from marrying. The state laws and constitutional amendments, referred to as anti-miscegenation laws, were struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 1967 landmark decision, Loving v. Virginia. The Court held that a couple's due process rights and equal protection guaranteed by the Fourth and Fourteeth Amendments were violated when they were criminally prosecuted for violating Virginia's interracial marriage ban.

UPDATE: It looks like Rep. Eric Turner has finally acknowledged the arguments of opponents that the amendment he proposed went beyond banning same-sex marriages. Turner tells WIBC that he is tweaking the language he will offer in a newly-proposed amendment next year to address those concerns. It's not going to make a difference with House Speaker Pat Bauer, who has already declared he will not allow a vote on the amendment in the House until he sees evidence that Indiana will be required to allow same-sex marriages in the absence of a constitutional amendment. Hat tip to Don Sherfick.


Anonymous said...

Well, the history of bigotry in the United States is long and terrible to look at.

In the 1800s, slaves who fled captivity were labeled as mentally ill.

The bible was used to persecute black people, to segregate them with "separate but equal" laws, while the most racist areas of the country (Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, South Carolina, and so on) kept the black minority from voting using quite a few dirty tricks like poll taxation.

In 1907, Indiana passed the world's first Eugenics law, targeting minorities, the mentally ill, and the poor, and would often sterilize such people without their consent when they were in the hospital for other reasons (such as giving birth), many other states passed similar laws based on Indiana's.

(Indiana officially repealed said law in 1977 at the same time they decriminalized homosexuality)

In 2007, 100 years after the Nazi-like Eugenics law was passed, Indiana issued a formal apology, too late for most of the state's victims to even see it.

But Indiana's state-sanctioned and church-sponsored bigotry against homosexuals has gone on ever since we were a territory, it was punishable by death, then by 15 years imprisonment, then the Christians in government pressured the state-licensed psychiatrists to say we were mentally ill (just like the slaves that wanted to be free), leaving them free to torture and chemically castrate us behind closed doors with the "good and decent" people of Indiana not asking any questions.

Yeah, they put an end to that but they didn't go away, there's still Christians saying that it is God's will for "the Negro" to be segregated, enslaved, or deported, and there are lots more of them saying it is God's will for homosexuals to continue to be oppressed at the hands of the state, under the sick and twisted pretense of morality. (While it is the Christian extremists who I find morally bankrupt)

I'm just waiting for the Christian activists to open up a "human zoo" like they often did as an exhibit in the lat 19th/early 20th century to make a fake evolutionary scale placing black people in between apes and the European whites.

Of course, why do that when they have the "ex-gay" movement?

You know, for a religion of "love", these people have a lot of baggage and a long, sick, twisted history.

Anyway, I extend my thanks to the Democrats on the Indiana House Rules Committee for killing this bigoted and mean-spirited, religiously motivated, and pseudo-scientific bill.

And there's a fat chance with the recent election (where Democrats will add a few more to their ranks at the expense of House Republicans that supported the amendment) of this passing in the next 2 years.

I guess the Agents of Intolerance will have to go back to the drawing board.

jbargeusa said...

Well, shoot, Advance Indiana, every time I think I got you pegged you slip away.

artfuggins said...

The Republican hate machine will crank up soon and make another run at this. I guess we are lucky that there is a very small Mormon population in Indiana.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Wasn't it the Indiana Democratic Party which financed a mailing for one of its state legislative candidates promoting the gay marriage ban?

7th CD guy said...

Wasn't it the Indiana Democratic Party which financed a mailing for one of its state legislative candidates promoting the gay marriage ban?

I think it was, AI. Wilson46201, er... artfuggins.. is just trying to spew his propaganda against the GOP because he is a true hate monger. Just because one is not homosexual, does not agree with the homosexual lifestyle, and chooses to voice his (or her) opinion against said lifestyle, artfuggins/wilson46201 calls them a member of a hate machine. If people would leave thier religious beliefs to themselves, the world would be a better place.
Quit passing laws to protect people from themselves and pass laws that protect people from the government.

Anonymous said...

AdvanceIndiana: The Indiana Democratic Party may have, I've noticed a lot of Blue Dog (conservative Democrats) popularity here, most of our US Representatives who are Democrats are Blue Dog.

So I have to wonder if that was just an oversight on the part of the party...

Usually, Blue Dogs will be maybe Anti-Choice, but it's rare that they are openly hostile to the gay community, in fact, I haven't seen any of them that went worse than "neutral" on the issue.

Anyway, I've done quite a bit of work with the Indiana Democrats, Blue Dogs can be screwy sometimes, but the compromise is worth having them support the party 80% of the time when the alternative is to concede the seat to a Republican.

7th CD Guy: I never said that all of the GOP are bigots, but when the party line of the GOP includes the goal of keeping an entire group of people disenfranchised, you have to wonder.

I voted for Dick Lugar, but I think he's a one in a million, I've never voted for any Republican but him.