Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Indiana House Passes Marriage Discrimination Amendment

To nobody's surprise, the Republican-controlled Indiana House of Representatives voted 70 to 26 to send HJR-6 to the Senate, a constitutional amendment that would permanently enshrine in the Bill of Rights to Indiana's Constitution a provision not only limiting marriages to opposite-sex couples, but also barring any legal rights identical or substantially similar to marriage for opposite-sex and unmarried couples. That latter change could nullify domestic partner agreements that have long been upheld as enforceable by Indiana courts, as well as having other unintended consequences. Proponents insist the amendment is needed to bolster Indiana's Defense of Marriage law that has been on the books since 1996 from being overturn by judges, even though the Indiana Court of Appeals upheld its constitutionality in 2005.Proponents acknowledge they are also trying to outlaw civil unions in Indiana with their amendment.

Perhaps the most surprising support for the amendment came from former Indiana House Speaker Pat Bauer (D-South Bend), who successfully blocked it during the last several sessions when Democrats were in control. Opponents of the discriminatory amendment are angry with Bauer. Some have threatened to snatch the awful hair piece off of his head in retaliation for selling out on the issue. Bauer is a Catholic and the diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend located in his district has expressed its disapproval of same-sex marriages. The amendment has been approved by the Senate in at least four recent legislative sessions and approval there is a foregone conclusion. The amendment, however, must be approved by two successive legislative sessions before it can go before voters for approval, which means 2014 is the soonest it could appear on the ballot. The roll call on today's vote can be accessed here. Hat tip to Masson's Blog.


artfuggins said...

I would love to be there when the cheap toupee is snatched.

Bob said...

It is so frustrating that Republicans (and some Democrats) are resorting to this kind of nonsense when there are real issues.

We have sweetheart deals like the coal gasification plant, but what's important is that we make sure that a minority is kept in their place as second class citizens.

This kind of crap makes me want to move to another state.

BTW: I think that toupee is more of an affront to any marriage - traditional or not.