Monday, January 27, 2014

Indianapolis Bar Association Announces Opposition To Marriage Discrimination Amendment

The Indianapolis Bar Association last week surveyed its membership for their views on HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment that would add to the state's Bill of Rights a provision outlawing legal recognition of same-sex marriages or civil unions despite the fact that the state's Defense of Marriage Act already bars legal recognition of same-sex marriages. The bar membership overwhelmingly expressed opposition to the amendment, with 73.1% against to just 5.4% favoring it. About one-fifth of the 2,196 Indianapolis area attorneys who responded to the survey thought the organization should remain neutral. According to the association, the participation rate in the survey was the highest survey response rate in the organization's history. The organization's board explains its position:
Considering these survey results and the Board's review of the proposed amendment and companion legislation, the Indianapolis Bar Association opposes passage of the proposed amendment and legislation.  First, based on Indiana constitutional history and precedent, the content of this amendment stands out as inappropriate.  In the 163 year history of the State's constitution, it has been amended on subjects such as term limits, taxation, governmental structure, elections, and courts. Prior amendments dealt with what government could and could not do, and how the government is to be formulated and operated, not the regulation of its individual citizens. Second, members of the Indianapolis Bar Association expressed great concerns about the unintended consequences upon potentially hundreds of Indiana laws if HJR-3 is passed and ratified, including those in the areas of family law, criminal law, employment law, health care law, and tax law. This uncertainty would likely lead to an interruption in the administration of justice, years of litigation and significant expense for individual citizens and Indiana businesses.


Anonymous said...

As with all single data points, unless we have a comprehensive moral baseline for the Indy Bar Association's membership, we have no means of understanding whether this survey is the opinion of a cautious and prudent lot or the preferences of a radical bunch.

Anonymous said...

I am opposed to this amendment, and would vote against it if I were a member of the House, because it seeks to make a policy choice within the Constitution. I believe that constitutions should be limited to setting out the procedure for effecting public policy, and not used as a vehicle for proclaiming specific public policy. That is best done through the legislature, which can respond much more quickly to changing circumstances and societal views.

I would support an amendment that bars this issue from the judiciary. This would ensure that the people, through their elected representatives, can determine what, if any, legal recognition should be given to the same sex relationships, and can freely tailor different degrees of legal recognition to different same sex relationships.

That said, I am one of the 20% who told the IBA to stay out if it. The IBA is not a body with any special knowledge or moral or legal superiority. It does not, and should not, speak for all its members on matters of public policy. Reasonable people can disagree on this and every other issue, and if members which to speak out about an issue, they are free to do so.

timb said...

"That said, I am one of the 20% who told the IBA to stay out if it. The IBA is not a body with any special knowledge or moral or legal superiority."

The legal ramifications of, especially, sentence two of this amendment will and could legal havoc for clients for years (until the SCOTUS strikes down all these laws on 14th Amendment grounds).

The IBA, as an organization with some legal knowledge, IS in a unique position to note the legal ramifications of this silly waste of time

Anonymous said...

you want a valid interest? All those marriages that the crazies think are done under their respective God's laws, are generally undone with the respectful assistance of the Bar.

Anonymous said...

So, 3:47, the Bar Association wants more marriages to generate more divorce business?


Gay marriage might prove useful to criminal courts. A pair of bank robbers can run off and get married and claim spousal privilege against one another.