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Indiana Senate committee votes for ban on marriage and civil unions

Timothy Kincaid

January 20th, 2010

The Indiana Senate Judiciary Committee has just passed SJR 0013 to be presented as a referendum to amend the state constitution:

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

The bill passed on a 6-4 party line vote and could go for a vote to the full Senate next week. The Senate has a 33 to 17 Republican majority.

What struck me about this is that those legislators who vote for these forms of discrimination know that their behavior is shameful and that history will soundly condemn them. (WIBC)

Republicans on the panel remained silent throughout the two-hour hearing before voiting for the amendment. Democrats challenged witnesses to distinguish the ban from laws once on the books in Indiana and other states against interracial marriage.

It is possible that this bill will have difficulty in the Indiana House where similar legislation has been stuck in committee. Democrats have a 52 – 48 advantage there.

And if it does go to a vote of the populace, it is possible that a effective argument can be made that banning civil unions is just downright unfair and bigoted.

Comments

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Richard W. Fitch
January 20th, 2010 | LINK

You underestimate the ignorance and animus of large portions of the state. I have long held that Indiana is the most northern of the Southern states and such a referendum as this may well underscore that contention again.

Emily K
January 20th, 2010 | LINK

Wow. I hope that the city of Pawnee at least comes out against it.

Rossi
January 20th, 2010 | LINK

This is why I root for the Jets.

Jim
January 20th, 2010 | LINK

Don’t kid yourself – if that is put to the people for a vote, it will pass. Every Catholic priest in Indiana, and every pastor of every mainstream Protestant denomination will exhort their congregations to vote for it, and huge amounts of money will roll into Indiana from the Knights of Columbus, Latter Day Saints et. al. It is exactly the same wording as the Wisconsin and Kentucky constitutional amendments, and both passed with sizable majorities. This is just the NOM machine in action – they don’t call it “national” for nothin’.

Burr
January 20th, 2010 | LINK

That language is such BS for any sort of law worth anything.. “substantially similar” is completely fluff and subject to any absurd interpretation.

Bearchewtoy75
January 20th, 2010 | LINK

Ah, so great to hear from my home state! (Sarcasm)

Just when you thought them voting for Obama was progress…!

This is the state that has a free “In God We Trust” imprint on their license plate! I just don’t understand what took them so long!

KZ
January 20th, 2010 | LINK

If this bullsh*t amendment is passed, does that mean the state government has to approve another amendment to its Constitution (to undo the bullsh*t one) AND have a majority of its voters approve it?

I don’t think I even want to know the answer to my question. As a gay Ohioan, I was sorely disappointed when our Constitutional amendment was passed by a solid majority in 2004. In the long run, these foolish amendments will hurt EVERYONE. I pray the members of the Indiana House realize that before it’s too late.

Lynn David
January 20th, 2010 | LINK

The only block for SJR-13 would be the House committee. If the greater House should vote on it, SJR-13 would pass. SJR-13 would then it go on to be voted on again by the House and Senate after the 2010 election (has to be voted on twice by two different sessions of the legislature).

Should it then be passed again, it would go before the people for a vote. It would overwhelmingly pass. My state senator’s district alone has been polled and 90+% of voters have said they would vote for such an amendment. They don’t care what it says or about any arguments concerning civil unions, they just want to stick it to gay people.

Lindoro Almaviva
January 20th, 2010 | LINK

The corn fed idiots of this state would vote for this amendment in droves. They are like lonely pets in the arms of their bigoted pastors and they lack the education to know the difference between what the law is and what is just plain bible-based manipulation.

CB
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

Indiana is solid Republican as Massachusettes is solid Democrat..oh wait…

Donnchadh
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

Sounds like they risk doing again what was done with the amendment in Texas. Over there it’s been belatedly noticed that it could be understood as banning all marriage (“The state will not recognize a status similar to marriage…). Here, the last sentence sentence would seem to mean that no-one may marry unless they are already married.

JimInMa
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

“A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

Does anybody else notice the wording of this? Does it seem a bit strange? Have you noticed that it effectively outlaws marriage for EVERYONE who is not already married? If some lawyer doesn’t catch this, then they deserve what they get.

Mortanius
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

Oh I have already written my reps (Merritt and Day) At least Merritt (R) wrote me back to say he’ll keep my thoughts in mind, yeah right. Anyway I let him know.
As for the language “A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”
Isn’t this the same language that Texas used that pretty much as the law read (not the intent) that banned all marriage?

Look at it, Identical or substantially similar to, well Marriage is Identical to Marriage, so all unmarried individuals who get married shall not be recognized.
I have to agree with the previous posts, the Hoosier state is the most Northern of the Southern states and every religious and I can say majority of the black community will be out against it. Though these same guys have brought it up every year, even during the special session when we had no budget and that was the sole purpose of bringing it up to pass a budget, this dumbarses bring it up.
Methinks they need to come out come out where ever your are (Turner/Yoder)

dave
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

I don’t know why they don’t go after every straight hetrosexual who’s been divorced and disolve their second marriage because marriage is between 1 man and 1 woman. Once their divorced it’s over, they’ve had their 1 man or 1 woman. These people are so effin holy and want to go by gods word, let’s force their stinkin gods word down their throat and make them suffer by it. Everything they say is a lie anyway, they don’t follow any of their crap, they find ways to get around it, the hipocrits. They’ve killed god in my eyes with their example anyway.

Matt
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

Sigh. Just when I thought my former home state had moved on from this…

Lynn did a good job of describing the legislative process this would need to take so I won’t go over that again. I remember helping campaign against this with crossed fingers for several years and breathed a sigh of relief when it was finally shelved a couple years ago. But residents of Indiana should certainly NOT get comfortable. If it goes to a popular vote, I agree with other posters who say that it will pass, and I’ll even pull a Nate Silver and predict a 60-40 outcome.

Donnchadh
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

I could add that the reason for amendments that seem to ban normal marriage is the mindset of those who write them: they think of it not as an institution decided by the state, but as something transcendent that the state simply acknowledges; hence, they are safe if they can keep the state’s hands out of marriage. That mindset has to go, and taking these amendments at face value should help point out the contradiction at its core.

Bryan
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

Keep in mind that a constitutional amendment like this that also bans civil unions has not been passed since 2006, when Arizona voters actually rejected their amendment. In 2008 Arizona accepted an amendment that only banned marriage, not civil unions. So there is hope that this may be defeated at the ballot box.

John
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

So, another law is being pushed through another state legislature to discriminate against gay people. And in the Prop 8 trial, defenders of Prop 8 argued that gay people don’t face discrimination. Hmmm. Is there any other group of American citizens who are currently being specifically singled out by law in order to be denied rights and priviledges accorded to others in our society?

Gregory Benedict
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

The Manhattan Declaration
A CALL OF CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE

Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.

We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:
the sanctity of human life
the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
the rights of conscience and religious liberty.

Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Please
1. Read the Manhattan Declaration
2. Sign the Manhattan Declaration
http://www.manhattandeclaration.org/

God Bless,

Priya Lynn
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

Sign a delcaration to deny equal rights to those who are harming no one? No thanks – you won’t get any takers on that amongst the justice oriented crowd.

Timothy Kincaid
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

We have read and analyzed the Manhattan Declaration. Here is what I found

This manifesto is, I believe, less a declaration of war on gay people and those with unplanned pregnancies than it is a declaration of war on other Christian faiths.

They “are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour” to try and deny the title of “Christian” from mainline Christians and to compel non-believers to be subject to the doctrines of faith shared by Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians by force of law.

It is un-American, contrary to the teachings of Christ, and in direct opposition to the protections and freedoms afforded by the Constitution.

John Doucette
January 21st, 2010 | LINK

Maybe we should start voting on heterosexual civil rights.

Ben in Oakland
January 22nd, 2010 | LINK

“Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.”

yeah, as long as it is YOUR family and not MY family.

you give Christians a bad name.

BobN
January 22nd, 2010 | LINK

Hey, where are the posts from Republicans claiming that they only oppose us using the word “marriage”?

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