Bil Browning

Indiana Constitutional amendment is reintroduced

Filed By Bil Browning | January 12, 2007 12:51 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement
Tags: amendment, Indiana, LGBT civil rights, LGBT community, local politics, marriage, SJR-7

The proposed amendment to Indiana's constitution that would ban same-sex civil marriage has been reintroduced. They are still calling it SJR-7 (Senate Joint Resolution 7) and the wording has stayed the same.

From the Senate's website:


Definition of marriage. Provides that marriage in Indiana consists only of the union of one man and one woman. Provides that Indiana law may not be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.

This ill-intentioned piece of legislation is once again being backed by one of the senate's biggest bigots, Republican Senator Brandt Hershman (Lafayette Wheatfield) - the Majority Whip. You might remember some of the "good" Senator's histrionics from the first time his bill passed the Senate.
"This is an effort to preserve existing law, religious tradition and thousands of years of history from a carefully orchestrated attack by liberal special interests. This issue, if it must be debated, should be considered by the legislature and the voters of Indiana, not in a courtroom."

While I could go on and on about the stupidity of Hershman's statement, I'll just point out the very telling "This issue, if it must be debated..." part. So Senator Bigot doesn't even feel the need for debate? Shucks. Why not just pass everything he wants without talking about it first? I'm sure he knows what's best for all of us! There's a true George W in the making, eh? Maybe we should start calling him "The Decider"...

Hershman is joined this year by some other co-authors. (Click the names to go to their Senate homepages to register your displeasure!) Leading the charge for discrimination and homophobia are:

It's going to be a long hard slog through loads of crap this year, folks. With a hate crimes law, a civil rights bill and defeating the amendment, we've got a full plate. It's going to take all of us to win. I would urge you to make a donation to your favorite local LGBT organization or if you can't afford to donate, offer to volunteer. You can find a list of local orgs on the left side of the page.

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Years hence, Hershman will be remembered for his prejudice and bigotry, with the likes of Strom Thurmond. He will be remembered for a failed attempt to write discrimination into the constitution of the State of Indiana.

Randy Studt | January 12, 2007 3:43 PM

I hesitate to correct your perception on the Senator Who Shall Not Be Named.. as I like to call him-- unfortunately MY Senator. BUT-- he officially lists his address as WHEATFIELD-- and not Lafayette.. where he is rarely seen, since his district barely dips into Tippecanoe County.

Sadly, it includes the gay heart of Lafayette -- with most of the officers of Citizens for Civil Rights, the local PFLAG, Pride Lafayette AND the newly elected Chair of Indiana Equality as his constituents.... SIGH!

Yes, I urge you to donate time, effort and $$ to those organizations which are part of Indiana Equality -- the statewide coalition formed to advance GLBT Civil Rights and to defeat such bigoted efforts. Please check out and sign up TODAY.

Mark your calendars for the "Read the Fine Print" Rally sponsored BY IE, HRC and a host of other GLBT groups on Monday, February 19th at the Statehouse. Find out more details at that website.

Let's bring down the House... as we showed we could in our well-fought election this past fall!

Thanks Randy. I've corrected the post to say "Wheatfield" instead of Lafayette. You can have him though - we've got it bad enough in Indy with Bosma here!

Marla R. Stevens | January 12, 2007 10:20 PM

My, my...isn't that co-sponsor list one best described as 'some-of-the-worst-of-the-usual-suspects!

Love the rally title!

It could've been avoided.

When Speaker-to-be Bauer hinted he'd allow a full floor debate, and a vote, we should've railed against it hard and fast.

Failure to flex our muscles then could spell the end of our efforts.

Now, to AMEND the Senate version, the removed words or added phrases, to make the House version different, will make the House authors targets.

It could all have been much more threatening to our supporters, if we'd dogged out Bauer back in the fall. And let him know we won't stand for a vote.

Now it's a rear-guard action...defending a narrow strip of land.

But, whatever the turf, it must be done.

This won't be pretty, and we're likely to get effed at the conclusion.

What a universally open and welcoming message to send to potential employees or businesses. Who, nationwide, now welcome folks with open arms and open policies.

Even though I knew this was going to happen, it is still a little discouraging to see.

Am I mistaken or is the list of co-signers smaller than before? I was thinking most Republicans had signed. If that is the case, it may mean that the message is starting to be heard. Still a major effort will be needed in the next few months.

Article in November, 2000 Logansport Pharos Tribune titled,
?Candidate?s ex-wife says he paid for her abortion.?
The open seat for one Logansport are legislative race is encountering an open season on a controversial issue as the campaign enters its final day.
The former wife of Republican State Senate candidate Brandt Hershman said Monday that his pro-life positions and endorsement by Indian Right to Life do not conform with his personal beliefs. Tracy Johnson Hershman said when she became pregnant in early 1997, Hershman asked to have an abortion. On May 30, 1997, she claims he drove her to the Planned Parenthood clinic in Merrillville where he paid for her to abort their child. Hershman asked her for a divorce a week later, she said.
?This is about somebody who really isn?t who he says he is,? Johnson Hershman, a former Valparaiso Vidette Messenger reporter who now resides in Michigan City.
Tracy Johnson Hershman, who says she is a Republican, said he forced her to have an abortion. Brandt Hershman said, ?I did not force anyone to do anything, ever, period. Tracy Johnson Hershman?s response is that he may not have forcibly made her have an abortion, but he made it clear he wanted her to abort the child.
Tracy Johnson Hershman, who is also Catholic, said her former husband did not want her to go to church.
?If he just got religion, he just got religion,? she says.
?I am the one with the Catholic guilt over (the abortion),? she said. ?I?m the one who sat there and cried over the entire thing.?
The couple had been married since 1989.
Tracy Johnson Hershman said she is not out to assassinate the character of her former husband, but the truth has to be know, but she learned of some of the claims her former husband was making after his campaign supporters called on a former business associate.