Don Sherfick

Back pats...pat's back...but no time for complacency

Filed By Don Sherfick | November 08, 2006 8:01 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, The Movement

Yippee! Those who had a hand in helping the Democrats regain control of the Indiana House deserve to give themselves a huge pat on the back......and the fact that Pat will be back as its Speaker. So let's bask in the sunshine for the next few Indian Summer days but then get down to some still very serious business. Whether or not said it without thinking, Speaker-to-again-be Bauer has recently told voters he'll permit the proposed so-called "Marriage Amendment" come up for vote next Spring.

We need to remember that about half of the Democrats in the 2005-2006 Indiana House voted FOR the amendment, joining the Republicans. Since the GOP continues to control the Indiana Senate the outcome appears to be a sure thing there. Perhaps Bauer has in mind letting different language go to the House, essentially permitting a vote but effectively guaranteeing that no amendment could become before the voters until at least November 2010. But a floor amendment could easily bring the current language back for consideration. The same Democrats who voted for the amendment last time may feel differently this time because, if nothing else, they have a chance to deny the Republican base a "wedge" issue in the 2008 election. Then again, some of them may still be inclined to vote against our interests.

There are lots of possibilities and combinations, enough for the strategists to chew on for some time. In the meantime, we need to continue getting out a CLEAR, CONCISE, and COMPELLING message to our legislators of both stripes, as well as to the public and media generally. We need to study why a very similar measure was passed by the Wisconsin voters, but (at least as of this writing) Arizona voters rejected theirs. In short, while the dynamics may be different without Brian Bosma holding the gavel, we need to proceed as if he and his party still won.

We also must continue to pursue vigorously the fight for equality in other areas, too. So eat, drink, celebrate, be merry now.......for tomorrow it's back to the serious work of stopping the amendment in Indiana, and working for full legal rights for its GLBT community.

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