Friday, January 10, 2014

If You Have To Explain What Your Marriage Amendment Means . . .

State Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero) and his gang of anti-gay supporters who are seeking to enshrine Indiana's current statutory ban on same-sex marriages have re-introduced their proposed constitutional amendment as HJR-3. They've also introduced a trailer bill that seeks to explain why the second paragraph of the proposed amendment really doesn't mean what it actually says. I would link to it, but the General Assembly's horribly renovated website isn't allowing me access at the moment. The Lafayette Courier-Journal Dave Bangert explains what's in the trailer bill, HB 1153, which provides assurances that shouldn't be necessary if the amendment had been crafted to do what its authors have claimed all along was their actual intent behind the amendment: ensure that Indiana only provides legal recognition to marriages entered into between one man and one woman.
But if it wasn’t clear before that HJR-3 is on shaky ground, House Bill 1153 was 2½ pages of stammering proof that the more you have to explain, the weaker your premise.
And that’s no position to leave a two-sentence constitutional amendment.
HB 1153 attempts to parse the proposed marriage question into what the General Assembly intends the constitutional amendment to be and what it doesn’t intend it to be.
Intended: Reaffirm Indiana’s existing law on marriage, which limits the definition to one between one man and one woman.
Not intended, according to HB 1153: To limit health benefits offered by private or public employers, to stop cities from adopting equal opportunity ordinances, to block anyone from terms of a will or power of attorney, or to affect Indiana’s domestic violence laws.
General Assembly leaders, including House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President David Long, said they stood by the addendum to the marriage amendment, seemingly persuading themselves that they’d given themselves a constitutional out from HJR-3’s criticized second sentence: “A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”
(Then again, Bosma famously offered this gem during a different fight in January 2012: “It’s not our job here to determine the constitutionality of something before we vote on it.”)
Rep. Turner can't help himself, but as an attorney, Bosma should be totally ashamed of this gibberish being seriously offered for consideration to the state's voters for the worst of reasons. Is it your intent to give the opposition all the motivation they need to drive voters to the polls this fall to unseat as many of your legislators as possible? Let's hope that cooler, more rational heads in the caucus prevail at the end of the day and put an end to this inevitable train wreck. 


Guest said...

They always insert gibberish into bills so that they don't pass and they are saved politically.

Anonymous said...

But when what you really want is not to actually change anything, but rather just to make Eric Miller shut up and go away, that's hard to insert into a Bill

Flogger said...

The State Legislators have backed themselves into a corner. They eagerly sowed the seeds of Religious Dogma. As an adult I have should have the right to make an adult decision to marry another adult who I want to.

If a church does not want to marry a same sex couple so be it. You follow the rituals of your religion. I was raised a Catholic, and back in the old days a marriage between a Catholic and Non-Catholic was not recognized in the "eyes" of the church.

The issue I have is with Religion trying to inject themselves into Civil Law.

Bosma's attempt to do a flashy dance is not going to take the pressure off of him.

guy77money said...

With apologies to the departed Hank Williams Senior! Everybody sing along!

If my partner and I are fussin’, brother that’s our right
‘Cause me and that sweet guy wants a license to fight
Why don’t you mind your own business
(Mind your own business)
‘Cause if you mind your business, then you won’t be mindin’ mine.