Bil Browning

Not worth the trouble, Pat?!?

Filed By Bil Browning | October 11, 2006 12:46 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: amendment, Brian Bosma, local politics, Pat Bauer

I have some red meat to throw out to the readers today. Feel free to digest in the comments...

While we've come to expect hateful, homophobic legislation from the Republican side of the aisle (constitutional amendment, no support for LGBT rights, ban gay adoption or foster parents, repeal local human rights ordinances that include LGBT rights, etc.), today's story from the Northwest Indiana Times was surprising.

Of course, Brian Bosma was quoted in the article with his usual "We just wanted to have a vote on it. Surprise! It passed!" schtick... Everyone knows he's one of the driving forces behind this wedge issue. At least this time he wasn't out claiming it was "the most important of the people's business."

But the part that's amazing is that Pat Bauer, the leading Democrat in the house and more than likely our next Speaker, is coming out to say that even when the Dems take back the house the amendment is still on the table! Way to go, Pat! That'll help the base! Way to encourage LGBT folks to go to the polls and vote Democratic! (Although I hear that Bauer's already setting up a meeting with the leaders of various LGBT organizations from around the state to do some damage control...)

It's always gives you a warm fuzzy feeling doesn't it when the top Democrat thinks that amending the Constitution isn't "worth the time" of the party. To hear such a high ranking politician claim it's only worth the political posturing is deeply disappointing. You'll notice though that he didn't say it would be the same amendment passed last time. If it gets rewritten and passed again, we start the clock all over - another legislature has to approve it and then the ballot initiative can start in 2010 at the earliest. (With both Republicans and Democrats quickly realizing that Part B of the amendment is so damn dangerous to the state, a changed amendment is almost a certainty at this point.)

C'mon, Pat. Get that foot out of your mouth and back on the stupid, homophobic laws the Pubs are proposing. This is bigger than Daylight Savings Time and how much hay has been made of that? Personally, I think defending my family is "worth the time, the trouble" of showing how hateful that amendment really is.

From the article (emphasis mine):

The Legislature's top Democrat said he wouldn't block a vote on a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage if his party takes control of the Indiana House next year.

The promise came from House Minority Leader Pat Bauer, D-South Bend, who won an award from the Indiana Civil Liberties Union for not letting Republican attempts to advance such a constitutional ban come to a vote while he was the speaker of the Indiana House.

State law already forbids marriage between two men or two women, but Republicans want the ban cemented in the Indiana Constitution.

"I just think that the only way for (Republicans) not to (continue to) demagogue it is to have a redundancy. It's too bad it has to go in the constitution, but so be it," Bauer said. "It's not worth the time, the trouble, to point out that it's not a problem (in Indiana), so it's better just to have the vote and see how it goes."

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Jeff Newman | October 11, 2006 3:14 PM

I'm thoroughly disgusted with Bauer and his flippant attitude about this. I guess we're supposed to be OK with the fact that the Dems are a little nicer than the Republicans when they're shitting on us.

Rick Sutton | October 11, 2006 3:53 PM

Let's filter this out, and if he said it, he cannot be Speaker.

If it's true, maybe the toup glue finally sank into his brain.

I'm gonna hold out hope that it's somehow a misquote or something.

But "Speaker Bauer" was never something that gave me warm fuzzies. Well, OK, moreso than Speaker Bosma, but I'm just sayin'.....

Riddle me this, Bilerico readers: if not Bauer, then whom? Think carefully about that one. The caucus is not loaded with friendly faces.

We have a right to ask our elected representative to vote for someone for Speaker. It's a little unusual, but we can.

The realist in me sees that if we are going to end up with an amendment, at least with the Democrats we have a chance of getting a less damaging and less far-reaching amendment. We are very likely to have an amendment, unless the election also sweeps some sense back into this state, but that's not very likely either.

But it still pisses me off when Democrats are flippant about an issue that is very emotional for a large part of their base. Bauer obviously needs an education in LGBT issues and sensitivities.

It's awfully close to election day to be letting go with gaffes like this. As the man who would be Speaker (again), he should know better.

I am so sick of giving my money and time to a party that throws us to the side when it works to their advantage. I was going to go to the next Fuldauer fundraiser and write one more freaking check and to finish off this election I was going to take an unpaid day from work to volunteer election day and pass out literature. Forget it. I'm freaking done with this bullshit. Thanks for showing us your true colors before I wasted anymore time and money Mr. Bauer.

Why did he even need to go there? Its as if he's saying: "Well, between the toll road, DST and the Foley scandal, we have enough crossover votes to get us the majority. No need to court the gays any longer."

I've never been a fan of Bauer whatsoever but I always gave him credit for killing the amendment the first time around. I now see his true colors.

So much for the time and money I spent campaigning and fundraising trying to get a democrat majority in the house. Why bother at this point? I have a good mind to ask for my dontations back from every democrat I've written check to (and there are several) and tell them that if this is how the person they select as their "speaker" is going to treat us, then a refund is in order.

I agree Kevin, a refund would be great. I gave way more money and time this year than I ever have. It appears to have been wasted. Pathetic.

Hey, I know lets call Julia ... oops, forgot, that bridge is under seige.

Ok then, maybe we should call PB and invite him to a good ole game of 'strategic kickball' ... oops, forgot he's really not fond of kickball.

As for me, think I'll wait a bit longer to see how this shakes out before I call it a day.

Rick Sutton | October 11, 2006 5:14 PM

Don't lose all hope, jerame...perhaps this is some part of a misapplied joke or bad misquote.

But, if he said's time to throw down the gauntlet. We can't let this Amendment see the light of day. It'll polarize folks and immobilize the caucus. It's ridiculous.

Lori, help Susan Fuldauer. She has an honest shot at knocking off Bauer. Er, Bosma.

Wilson46201 | October 11, 2006 8:17 PM

LGBT folk have several friendly Democratic lawmakers with power and skill (notably Bill Crawford) to throw a monkey wrench into the SJR7 juggernaut - all is not lost. There's way too much despair in here!

I too am disappointed in my party of choice and in Mr Bauer's tasteless and hurtful comment. Being a Class A Cynic and a True Believer in all things sarcastic, I will venture to say that Bauer's comment is probably aimed at taking this issue off the table and not at throwing gay votes to the wolves. Isn't this typical of Bauer though? Have we ever seen him do anything that wasn't purely political?

Yes, he stopped the amendment in 2004 with good advice from many people including his chief of staff at the time. The caucus barely held together and because of that action, the Democrats lost the House. Like it or not, we need them back in control. Like it or not, Bauer will be the Speaker. (I personally would like David O, but again being a Cynic, I know that will never happen.) And trust me, we don't want Bosma in there another term. Remember, he's the one who ramrodded the current amendment through...when he wasn't fake praying...

I'm with Wilson on this one. We have many many friends at the Statehouse. Abandoning them would be less than prudent. Do what I do...give the money and time to the candidate of your choice and ONLY to that person. Or not...

Okay, I agree with Linda here... Abandoning the party isn't really a choice. We know that Bosma as a Speaker really sucks for our issues (see the list of legislation that Pubs have tried to push through I listed above). Bauer has won an award for standing up for our issues and civil liberties in general.

But that still doesn't mean we can't call him out for a very tasteless comment. I know from what I've heard what is in the paper isn't exactly what he was trying to say, but it is what came out. It's what was in the paper. And that's what he has to answer for.

I think this was mostly a case of "foot-in-the-mouth" disease. He's currently trying to meet with LGBT groups from around the state to rectify the problem. Is Bosma meeting with LGBT folks? Even the Republicans? No.

So we've got one side that screwed up and is sorry and wants to make up. And the other side keeps screwing us and isn't sorry in the least. Who do you choose? The choice is easy for me.

While these comments are disappointing, Bauer is a masterful politician. Most likely, this issue has polled badly in a few key districts and these comments were needed to help in a district or 2.

There are still MANY options that could both kill the amendment AND allow a vote. That is what, politically, really needs to happen.

Don't lose hope - Bauer's heart is in the right place on this issue as is the heart of most people who have his ear. Keep supporting Democratic candidates at all costs as Republicans are SURE to do NOTHING to oppose this amendment. Democrats know they must do it in a smart way this time, though - and this is the first step toward that end.

Ellen Andersen | October 13, 2006 11:09 AM

My inner-politico knows that Bauer was intending to take the amendment issue off the table, so that Republicans won't be able spend the next 27 days hammering on SJR7.

My inner-lesbian is thinking unprintable thoughts. Bauer *knows* how much fundraising and get-out-the-vote work the LGBT community is doing for the House Dems this election cycle. Is *now* really a good time to piss on us? Way to demobilize a key part of your base, Pat.

I don't know why the LGBT community continues to wasste its time, money, effort, and goodwill on a Democratic Party that has endlessly shown its willingness to use the community as an ATM and base bloc that it can take for granted at the polling place, and then run roughshod over at the Statehouse in exchange for its precious support.

Meanwhile, the Libertarian Party's platform is simple: live your life your way. Elect Libertarians, and you won't have to try to fool yourself with justifications that Bauer's heart is in the right place, desperately hoping that he's merely a politician talking bout of both sides of his mouth.

There are plenty of wasted votes each November. Voting Democrat here certainly qualifies as a wasted vote.

Voting Libertarian at least for Secretary of State keeps the Libertarians -the only party on the ballot that is inequivocal on LGBT rights- on the ballot for another four years.

-Mike Kole
Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State

Mike, Please correct me if I'm wrong. But I thought that the Libertarian Party didn't stand for civil rights laws for LGBT folks because they were the party of "less government." The reasoning I'd heard went something like "Government shouldn't be involved in telling people how to act towards each other. The job is to 'protect and defend' only." I thought the Libertarians also opposed hate crimes laws for these reasons. Can you clarify the party's position on same-sex marriage as well?

Bil- Thanks for the opportunity to respond!

On the one hand, you're right- Libertarians are generally opposed to civil rights legislation, but usually on technical grounds. This is a good example. Since the laws weren't specifically including LGBT, same were excluded from protection. We believe in equal protection. So, unfortunately, our objections were probably badly stated, and looked like objections to protections.

The problem with trying to use government for protection in a majority rules society is that too often the majority is in a mood to steamroll a minority, with government as the tool to do the job. The badly named "Defense of Marriage" act is a perfect example.

Here is the LP platform on Sexuality & Gender, from the website

"The Principle: Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have legitimate authority to define or license personal relationships. Sexuality or gender should have no impact on the rights of individuals.

Solutions: Culture wars, social friction and prejudice will fade when marriage and other personal relationships are treated as private contracts, solely defined by the individuals involved, and government discrimination is not allowed.

Transitional Action: Repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act and state laws and amendments defining marriage. Oppose any new laws or Constitutional amendments defining terms for personal, private relationships. Repeal any state or federal law assigning special benefits to people based on marital status, family structure, sexual orientation or gender identification. Repeal any state or federal laws denying same-sex partners rights enjoyed by others, such as adoption of children and spousal immigration. End the Defense Department practice of discharging armed forces personnel for sexual orientation. Upgrade all less-than-honorable discharges previously assigned solely for such reasons to honorable status, and delete related information from military personnel files. Repeal all laws discriminating by gender, such as protective labor laws and marriage, divorce, and custody laws which deny the full rights of each individual."

Pretty plainly stated, live your life your way. This is miles ahead of the shifting sands that are the Democratic position on LGBT issues. This has been our position since 1971, adjusted to reflect current affronts to civil liberty.

-Mike Kole
Libertarian candidate for Secretary of State