Original article here, at the Muncie Voice.
Statehouse- Indianapolis, IN- January 23, 2014
Speaker (R) Brian Bosma passes HJR-3 through the Indiana Elections Committee
Despite the June, 26th 2013 DOMA/SCOTUS ruling that a federal ban on same-sex marriage is UNCONSTITUTIONAL- HJR-3, an amendment to Indiana’s constitution defining marriage ONLY as between a man and a woman, passed through the republican-controlled Elections Committee Wednesday evening, Jan 22nd, 2014.
While they’re at it, perhaps these same legislators should just go ahead and draft a bill that requires all “Welcome to Indiana” signs to look like this:
Image: Aimee Fant; Muncie Voice
HJR-3 forbids the State of Indiana to recognize marriages between same-sex couples.
And same-sex marriage is already against the law in the State of Indiana.
Is this the sort of message Indiana wants to send to LGBT community living here or thinking about living here?
A sundog (ice rainbow) in the cold Indiana sky today sends a different message:
January 23rd, 2014- Sundog (Ice-rainbow) over Muncie, Indiana; Aimee Fant
Many are asking of this anti-liberty measure of government-overreach:
“How can they do this?”
Ask Majority-(R) Speaker Brian Bosma.
“Bosma, on Tuesday took the unusual step of shifting the resolution out of the House Judiciary Committee, where it was the subject of a four-hour hearing last week, to the Elections Committee, which conducted its own hearing and passed the bill Wednesday.” – Indy Star
Thwarting the Federal government, once again- in addition to rejecting federal funds that would allow the expansion of medicaid to those without health insurance and violating the US Constitutional amendment of the separation between “Church and State” in funneling tax-dollars to parochial schools through vouchers, Indiana Republican legislators selectively ignore the will (and Constitution) of both Hoosiers and the American people.
State Representative (D) Sue Errington made the following statement on Facebook this morning, regarding the passage of HJR-3: “It took changing the rules in the middle of the game, but Speaker Bosma got his votes in the Elections Committee to get HJR3 out of committee 9-3 on a party line vote. I’m proud of my fellow democrats that voted no. Indiana needs more of them!”
Errington remains optimistic, already beginning the work to defeat HJR-3 in the future, but many Hoosiers presently- are devastated.
“Of all of the times in my entire life that I have been called names, beaten and degraded (for being gay) and there have been thousands, justifying my right for marriage is the most degrading and discriminating thing that has ever happened in my life.” Written in a blog-entitled: “Dear Annie, this is how Indiana’s Gay Marriage Ban will Affect Me”
Life-long Muncie, Indiana resident, Co-Founder of the Facing Project and Associate Executive Director of Indiana Campus Compact: J.R. Jamison-Pippin had this to say of HJR-3:
“After being in a committed relationship with my husband for 13 years, 9 of which we’ve been married, it is challenging to live in Indiana—a state where our relationship doesn’t feel as valued. This feeling of devaluation doesn’t come from friends and family; rather, it comes from some of our government leaders. Indiana is a state that I love. I was born here, raised here, and I’ve planted my roots here with my family. Over the years, I’ve given much back to the state though I’ve taken very little. I’m disappointed in the committee who voted on HJR-3, but I’m reminded of one of my favorite Dr. King quotes, ‘The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.’ If this goes to the voters, the upside is that we have time to change hearts and minds. Polls already show that over 50% of Hoosiers disagree with HJR-3. Hoosier citizens, businesses, and educational institutions have moved forward with the rest of the country—our law makers need to stop fighting the inevitable.” J.R. Jamison-Pippin, Muncie. (Jamison-Pippin was also a 2013 “Top 20 Under 40” Award recipient for his contributions to the community of Muncie.)
J.R. Jamison-Pippin: M Magazine’s 20 Under 40, recognizing leaders who show the potential to lead Muncie’s industry into the future. Photo: Christy Reynolds Tunnell; September 3rd, 2013
Muncie resident Judy Thornburg is also leery of HJR-3 and worries about it might mean for her. She says: “I just think it’s horrible. One of the things our country supposedly prides itself on is “separation of church and state” but it seems to only be for other issues.”
Judy Thornburg, at the Island, Muncie. Judy is a two-time cancer survivor. This photo was taken shortly after she went into remission. Photo: Aimee Fant, June 2013
A member of the Elections Committee asks: “If there are citizens who are married in another state that allows gay marriage and they go to file their taxes in Indiana and have to say, ‘not married,’ are we asking our citizens to be fraudulent? Won’t they have to to mark ‘married’ on their federal taxes?” Yes. But according to Indiana law, same-sex couples are NOT allowed to mark “yes” to being married. Yes, to federal. No to state; if they do, they will be committing fraud in the state of Indiana. Confused? So is everyone else.
Beyond ensuring equality for ALL Hoosiers, Indiana republican legislators need to ask themselves if growing Indiana’s economy and tax-base is more important than scoring imaginary “interpretive” points with God.
An impending exodus of gay individuals, their families, and LGBT professionals/business owners looms in Indiana, as many of these Americans seek forward-thinking communities- are disgusted by leadership and policy that shamelessly discriminates against them. Many simply do not feel welcome here. With HRJ-3, Indiana republican legislators have essentially crafted a virtual force-field around Indiana against entrepreneurs and talent who seek diversity within the cities/communities in which they build businesses and jobs.
Indiana republican lawmakers that seek to fortify discriminatory policy have not only shot Indiana’s economy in the foot, they’ve also shot LGBT Hoosiers in the back.