Bil Browning

Weeping and gnashing of teeth

Filed By Bil Browning | March 24, 2005 2:17 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics

"Well this is Indiana... What do you expect?"
A friend of mine asked me this last night on the phone. SJR-7 passed the Indiana House of Representatives with bipartisan support. Thankfully, my representative is a great, courageous man. Rep Greg Porter will most definitely have my vote next election day! My state senator, Billie Breaux, is another wonderful human being who proudly refused to write discrimination into the constitution.

But my friend's question has stayed with me. What do I expect from Indiana? Today, I was talking to my therapist about the internecine struggle going on in the gay community recently. I was recounting how one recent star of the community was trying to tear down existing groups and leaders so they could stand on the rubble to make themselves taller. Innuendo and backstabbing have never been my forte and I especially dislike them as methods of self-promotion. But during our session, the therapist asked,

"How do you expect to be treated? Do you expect to be treated fairly?"

As I stopped to process the questions he'd asked, I realized how similiar the two quotes were. Because wasn't the therapist's question just an extension of my friend's? Isn't that what I expect from a state that touts it's "Hoosier Hospitality?"* To be treated, at the very least, fairly?

Maybe it was time for us to tell our fellow Hoosiers what we do expect from them. Maybe it's time to stop asking for civil rights and start demanding them instead. Perhaps some righteous indignation would wake up a few of our friends and neighbors. Maybe if we spent less time tearing ourselves down and re-inflicting the prejudices and hatred that the religious extremists already use against us, we'd be able to do this.

*unless you're gay - then all offers are null and void

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