There is a lot more chatter about the marriage discrimination amendment this year than there was two years ago. That's an improvement... A quick roundup of some of the better clips from around the web lately surrounding SJR-7:
- A mean-spirited assualt via American Values Alliance
AVA President William Groth analyzes the recent ruling in Michigan and compares the case to what would happen if SJR-7 passes. Groth, you might remember, represented the Democrats appeal of the Voter ID law in federal court.
SJR-7 may be even more radical than the Michigan amendment... Notwithstanding the assurances of its proponents such as Terre Haute attorney James Bopp, SJR-7 would do more than merely prohibit any form of gay marriage. It would also invalidate any existing or future law having either the intent or effect of conferring upon same-sex partners benefits that are enjoyed by married heterosexual couples, including but not limited to spousal health insurance coverage, the equal right to property acquired during a relationship, and the right to hold property as tenants in the entirety, to retirement benefits, to exemptions for taxes, to protection from spousal abuse, and even to child or grandchild visitation rights. In so doing, SJR-7 will permanently consign gay persons to second-class citizenship due to their immutable genetic traits. At the very least, the House should vote to delete subsection (b), the most far-reaching, ambiguous and thus dangerous provision, when if as expected SJR-7 is again approved by the Senate and sent over to the House.
- Unwarranted Amendment via The Evansville CourierPress
My estimation of Evansville just went up, I have to admit. Today's editorial rails against SJR-7 and encourages citizens to contact their legislators about the issue. It lists SJR-7's flaws and calls it for what it is.
If one were to sit down with paper and pen and write the 100 most pressing concerns facing Hoosiers, a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage would not make the list. Nor would it make the list of top 500 concerns.
Indiana already has a statutory law that bans same-sex marriage. Given that that is unlikely to change, those Hoosiers who are concerned about the issue don't need the overkill of a constitutional amendment.
And yet the Indiana Legislature has allowed itself to devote far too much time to enacting an amendment on an issue irrelevant to most residents of the state.
In a session with such legitimate concerns as health care, education (full-day kindergarten), transportation and taxes on the agenda, what were legislators doing this past week devoting more than three hours to a hearing on the proposed amendment? Answer: Making political points with those who want to see their personal beliefs etched into the state constitution.
- Open Letter To Indiana Bar Association on SJR7 via Advance Indiana
Gary wrote a letter to the IBA taking them to task for not being more vocal about civil rights advocacy. It's a creative approach to ally-building that I hope succeeds on some level or another. We're going to need every ally we can get for this fight - and this shows a good way that we can help build our influence in ways outside the legislature as well.
- SJR-7 - The meaning of paragraph (b) via Masson's Blog
Doug Masson has a clear and literal description of the dangers of the second part of SJR-7. If you're still a little unclear of the ramifications, this is a good place to catch up.
- Michigan and their amendment via Indiana Equality blog
Robin Beck takes the senators who voted to pass SJR-7 out of the Judiciary committee to task for their vote after Michigan's recent ruling proved the validity of opponents' arguments.