Sheila S. Kennedy

It's Not Just the Bigotry...

Filed By Sheila S. Kennedy | February 09, 2007 6:37 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, The Movement
Tags: amendment, conservative politics, fundamentalists, Indiana, LGBT community, marriage, Sheila Kennedy, SJR-7

It's the hypocrisy.

By now, readers of this blog know that a Michigan court--ruling on language very similar to the language in "clause B" of SJR-7--said

"The marriage amendment's plain language prohibits public employers from recognizing same-sex unions for any purpose."

Those who were challenging that application of the Michigan amendment brought in evidence of all of the Michigan legislators pious assurances that the language absolutely didn't mean what it obviously said, but the Court chose to read the "plain language" and to dismiss the statements of those who drafted the measure.

Here in Indiana, members of the General Assembly who are intent on writing discrimination into the Indiana Constitution are playing the same game--insisting that the language of the amendment doesn't mean what it clearly says, that it won't be used to deny same-sex partners the hard-won benefits they currently enjoy from our more enlightened public and private employers.

If anyone harbors a lingering doubt about the real motives of these legislators, a recent post at Dispatches from the Culture Wars makes the con game pretty explicit. As Ed Brayton put it:

A perfect example of the double talk from the religious right on gay marriage amendments. Compare the posts from the ADF blog about such amendments, where they say that anyone who claims that such amendments will void partnership benefits is only preying on fear and meant to confuse:

'Preying on these and similar fears, advocates of same-sex "marriage" argue that proposed state marriage amendments will undermine the ability of government and even private entities to grant benefits to unmarried people. This false argument is being used to confuse many people...'

to their post praising the appeals court in Michigan for using the anti-gay marriage amendment to void such benefits. They are simply lying through their teeth when they claim that such amendments don't void benefit packages by universities and government agencies."

Let's be clear about this: the people pushing for SJ 7 are hateful people who want to make life as difficult as possible for their gay neighbors. They know perfectly well that same-sex marriage is already illegal in Indiana. They know perfectly well that Indiana courts have already upheld the constitutionality of the state's mini-DOMA, so the specter of an "activist" (i.e. fair) court is phony. And they know full well that a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court finding same-sex marriage to be a basic right--unlikely as that is at present--would void any contrary provision in the constitutions of the states. So there is no reason to pass this amendment except to void those few benefits that gay couples now enjoy.

They may get SJ 7 passed, but no one who believes in equal rights should let them get away with pretending that they don't mean what they say.

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