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Thursday, July 16, 2015
How Many Will Join The Ninth District Congressional Race?
First-term State Sen. Erin Houchin has officially announced her candidacy for Indiana's Ninth District following U.S. Rep. Todd Young's announcement he will seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by retiring Sen. Dan Coats next year. Attorney General Greg Zoeller is a sure bet to enter the race as well. He filed paperwork to form an exploratory committee. Two other state senators, Brent Waltz and Rod Bray, have also been mentioned as potential candidates. The Republican primary race could become quite crowded. No Democratic candidates have emerged yet.
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Ireland’s parliament adopted one of the world’s most progressive gender identity laws on Wednesday, following the country’s historic popular vote for marriage equality in May. In June, Ireland’s cabinet announced that it had agreed to change a draft gender identity law first unveiled in December last year to remove a provision that would require a doctor to sign off before someone can change their legal gender. The final version approved just over a month later means Ireland will go from being one of the last countries in Europe to give trans people a way to change their legal gender to one of just five countries in the world where someone can make their change simply by filing a declaration.
The law is expected to go into effect by the end of the summer. And Ireland, once practically ruled by the edicts of the Church, has listened to the surprisingly liberal social views of its citizens, and changed, first on marriage, now on gender identity.
I consider myself an Independent, and I have a long history of voting for Republicans like Mayor Ballard and John McCain over Democrats. But I supported marriage equality for gay people. And I was moved by Caitlyn Jenner’s transition. And I support an anti-discrimination protection law for Indiana’s gay population. So my question for these Congressional contenders is whether you support these issues in general, and whether you will support them in Washington if we elect you. Because even Republicans have gay children, who we love, and whether we are talking about the Indiana Statehouse, or Congress, I care about whether the candidate is truly caring of our gay children, or bigoted against them.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins often weighs in on Congressional races in conservative districts, including Indiana Congressional races. And he has had a special relationship to the Duggar family. So today’s news hits particularly hard on the subject of conservative Christian hypocrisy, and why we listen to what these people preach, and why they never seem to believe their awful standards apply to them personally. And I want to know which candidates will court Perkins’ endorsement.
To the news today is that TLC is officially canceling "19 Kids and Counting." The hit reality show "will no longer appear on the air," the network told The Associated Press on Thursday. The show featuring the Duggar family had been in limbo since May after revelations that 27-year-old Josh Duggar molested five children including four of his sisters. TLC also announced it has teamed with two prominent child-protection organizations for an ongoing campaign to raise awareness about child sexual abuse. The initiative will begin with a one-hour, commercial-free documentary likely airing in late August.
I would like to know which of the Congressional candidates for the 9th District will be endorsed by Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, who has a terrible track record for endorsements, and whether any of them will ask Tony Perkins to campaign on their behalf. Because if Greg Zoeller thinks he’s going to get elected to Congress allied with Tony Perkins he’s a bigger fool than we already think, and we think he’s not only a fool but almost cruel in his hatred of our gay population.
Zoeller has consistently used the position to advance his personal religious beliefs. He has intervened in national high-profile culture war cases having the most tenuous connection (if any) to Indiana. He has been especially eager to volunteer in cases involving gay rights; he spent enormous time and energy — and taxpayer resources — opposing same-sex marriage in the Supreme Court’s Windsor case, a case to which Indiana was not a party.
Last year a federal court required Indiana to recognize the out-of-state marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney. Niki was battling a particularly aggressive cancer, and was terminal. The couple had two children, ages 1 and 3 and Niki wanted to be recognized as married in her home state while still alive.
Zoeller immediately announced his intention to appeal. As Lambda Legal noted, no other attorney general in the country has chosen to appeal after a court has protected the marriage of a same-sex couple on a temporary basis as a lawsuit moves forward because one of the partners is terminally ill. For example, the Ohio AG declined to appeal a court’s temporary order protecting the marriage of a man fighting Lou Gehrig’s disease as his lawsuit challenging the State’s marriage ban moved forward, even as the Ohio AG fought to uphold the ban.
When a Lambda attorney characterized the decision to appeal as “a display of cruelty,” Zoeller’s spokesperson accused the organization of an “unprofessional approach in their utterances toward opposing counsel.” I think It was Zoeller who was unprofessional, and I want to know if he plans to accept the endorsement of Tony Perkins.
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