Monday, January 12, 2009

There's Nothing To See Here, Move Along

The resident gay bashers at the State House have reintroduced a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages in Indiana for the umpteenth time. Rep. Eric Turner (R-Marion) and Rep. Dave Cheatham (D-North Vernon) held their little press conference this afternoon to propose this language:

“Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

While the language varies slightly from previous versions of the amendment, it still goes beyond banning same-sex marriages, which are already banned by statutory law. The proponents are determined to prevent same-sex couples from ever enjoying any benefits of a civil union or other marriage-like status. It's bigoted in its inception and accomplishes nothing to stem the ever-increasing number of broken marriages and out-of-wedlock births between opposite sex couples. Organized interests both for and against the amendment are delighted by its introduction because it gives them the bait they need to solicit contributions and stay in business for another year.

There is no need for high emotions on either side. This amendment is going nowhere this year and the organized proponents and opponents know it. Nonetheless, you will hear lots of chatter from them. Ignore it. Move along. There's nothing to see here.


Jon Easter said...

There is something to see here, but I think you're right. I just get skittish when they start throwing around the "Constitutional Amendment" word for things like this. Discrimination has no place in the Constitution.

Don Sherfick said...

These were the same folks who have insisted time after time that if two people in a same-sex relationship want to go to an attorney and have contracts, wills, powers of attorney, and the like, they can get the very same thing their married heterosexual counterparts have. Now they say that such "substantialy similar" things wouldn't be worth the paper they were written on, because courts would be precluded from "recognizing" them, which seems to mean enforcing their terms.

These are also the same folks who said they were only targeting those evil and uncontrolled "unelected activist judges" from imposing their will against that of the people. They insisted that if the legislature wanted to enact civil unions or similar arrangments, they were free to do so. Not so any more.

At one time some proponents said the old SJR7 was "moderate" because it wasn't as restrictive as it could have been. Any pretext of that has now been completely discarded.

Wait long enough and the true colors emerge.

Covenant60 said...

People of the same sex should not be able to marry each other. The people, through their elected representatives, have exercised their right of self governance to enact laws that provide that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

A constitutional amendment is for the purpose of preventing unelected, unaccountable judges from legislating homosexual "marriage" from the bench.

And I say again.... people should really stop basing their political and social identities on what kind of sexual perversions they like to indulge in or fantasize about. Have some self respect and modesty, please.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Get over it, Michael. You already won this battle. Same-sex marriages are illegal in Indiana and a court challenge to that law upheld its constitutionality. This is nothing but a fundraising gimmick for the religious right, and their stooges in the legislature play along with it. If these people don't have anything better to do with their time considering all the major challenges facing this state and nation, then they need to find another line of work. We can't afford to waste our time with their useless issues.

Sean Shepard said...

Michael I think misunderstands the proper role of the state in this issue. I think we are beyond the days of the immediate post-war to prevent southern secession era when people tried to use government to restrict who could and couldn't get married (meaning: blacks and whites).

From a comment a made on another BLOG on this same issue:

Of course, the correct argument here is...


The state should not be legislating who individual people choose to live their lives with. If marriage is a sacred religious trust, people had best not trust government and politics to keep it so and should, thinking of Mathew 22:21, demand that Caesar give back to God that which is God's.

Let the church marry people and keep it a contract between two people, not a contract between two people and the government.

This would require changes to a lot of legislation to eliminate any special restrictions or benefits that are based on marital status, but if people are worried about government usurping the definition of religion, don't let politicians define it, let your Church.

varangianguard said...

Government needs to stay out of Religion.

You don't want to marry a person of your own gender - fine. But, don't impose your religious views on anybody else.

Don Sherfick said...

Michael, when you say:

"A constitutional amendment is for the purpose of preventing unelected, unaccountable judges from legislating homosexual "marriage" from the bench."

That just reinforces the point made by AI and my comment above that you also don't "get it" that it now bars freely elected legislators also. The desire of the sponsors not to have to talk about the why's and wherefores of that is something that you really ought to think about.

Covenant60 said...


All it takes, as California, Mass, and NY have shown, is for one or a few power mad publicity loving judges to "find" a constitutional right for same sex marriage, thus trampling on the rights of the majority of citizens to govern themselves.

A constitutional amendment is needed to prevent such an abuse of judicial power.

Now, whether this particular amendment does that job (and no more), is up for debate.

The idea itself of an amendment to deal with this possibility, given the legal environment of the past 50 years, and after 16 years of Dem appointments to appellate courts in Indiana, is much more than a political gimmick.

But then again, maybe all politics and legislative proposals are gimmicks. Even those of the gay lobby.

If I were the proponents of the legislation, I would simply provide that no judicial act or decision shall be permitted that recognizes the right or ability of any persons of the same biological sex to marry each other. Or maybe more simply (at the top of my head here) "The Indiana Constitution shall not be interpreted as providing a constitutional right for persons of the same biological gender to marry each other, or to obtain the benefits of marriage as described by statute."

This would preserve the legislature's right to address the issue as it sees fit, and also allows private individuals abd organizations to contract with each other as they see fit. In short, it tells the courts to butt out.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Michael, Indiana is not Massachusetts, California or New York in case you haven't noticed. Give me a single example of when the Indiana Supreme Court engaged in judicial activism to advance a favorite left-wing cause?

Covenant60 said...

History has shown that all it takes is one panel, AI.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Covenant60 said...

Sean ....

Marriage is, and always has been, governed by the state. The definition of marriage, in common law and by statute, has always meant (with no need for elucidation until the last decade, thanks to the relentless gay lobby) between a man and a woman. The vast majority of people think it bizarre to consider it as anything else.

The state also has the power to determine the nature and extent of the benefits and responsibilities of marriage.

The state, from time to time and through the citizen's elected representatives, has seen fit to change (sometimes quite drastically) those benefits and responsibilities.

That is what living in a constituitional republic means.

It does NOT mean that anything goes, that people can do whatever they want whatever they want. The people have the right to govern themselves and proscribe conduct that they believe is wrong or offensive, so long as such an action does not infringe on a constitutional right.

A constitutional amendment that preserves to the people (through its elected representatives) the right to define marriage and determine its benefits and responsiblities (as has always been the case) is germane in this day and age.

But if you have an argument that the state should do something else with marriage, then write your state representative.

Sean Shepard said...

Michael. The government has no business regulating a religious practice.

Now, to the extent that there needs to be contract law between married individuals to address various things like disposition of assets, that is just that, contract law.

The argument that "since the state has always" [define 'ALWAYS' please] regulated and licensed a religious practice does not make it appropriate and is patently wrong anyway.

Historically, marriage was a private contract between two families and for many centuries, the predominant Western religion defined the validity of marriage by accepting the intentions of the couple in question. Even Catholics took your word for it.

Later on in Europe, the law started intervening because parents were contesting the validity of unions amongst younger people (remember - parental consent was a big social norm then).

In the mid 19th Century, the United States started regulating marriage so that, quoting a 1920s article ...
By the 1920s, 38 states prohibited whites from marrying blacks, “mulattos,” Japanese, Chinese, Indians, “Mongolians,” “Malays” or Filipinos. Twelve states would not issue a marriage license if one partner was a drunk, an addict or a “mental defect.” Eighteen states set barriers to remarriage after divorce.

It wasn't until the mid 20th century that the marriage licenses started being used for all kinds of other purpose like determining benefit status for government or private programs.

SO, like I said, since I'm nota big government statist, let's restore marriage back to the people and their religions.

I'm not particularly worried about "goat marrying" becoming an epidemic. I am worried that too much time is wasted worrying about governments role in this while our country and our economy goes down the tubes.

Amazing isn't it, that two people can go live together, have children or whatever but if they want to get 'married' they have to pay the government for a license? Seems pretty silly. Things governments will do to raise revenue or restrict your liberty.

Quiet Guy said...

In the spirit of accuracy, Cheatham is from North Vernon, Indiana, not Mt. Vernon.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Thanks for the correction, quiet guy.

Anonymous said...

Michael, take your bigotry and cram it in a place that stinks far less than your breath and looks far more appealing than your face.

Covenant60 said...


NOW who's being "intolerant"?