Bil Browning

IBJ takes on SJR-7

Filed By Bil Browning | March 05, 2007 8:54 AM | comments

Filed in: You Gotta See This
Tags: Big Brother, Bruce Hetrick, IBJ, Indiana, Indianapolis Business Journal, marriage, SJR-7

The Indianapolis Business Journal recently ran a satirical column by Bruce Hetrick that is absolutely outstanding. I don't often read the IBJ, but this piece was pointed out to me by a Grassroots participant and it's too good to pass up. While I try not to quote too much of an article, this time I'm going to go a little long because, literally, you gotta see this. Be sure to click through for the whole piece.

Hi. Big Brother here. You know me: Mr. Government-Knows-Best,

Mr. Run-Your-Life-For-You,

Mr. Tell-You-What-You-Can-and-Cannot-Do.

I realize I'm not popular in these Hoosier parts. I know I've failed to mandate the use of motorcycle helmets. Failed to mandate the use of safety belts in trucks. Failed to stop you from smoking up that old Chevy Malibu with your little munchkin ridin' shotgun.

Granted, after decades of futility, I finally conned you into daylight-saving time. But that was an aberration. And you're not happy about it. And a huge percentage of you opted out, anyway.

More typical of your Hoosier resistance to regulation: You have the second-highest smoking rate in the nation and the heart disease, cancer and death rate to show for it. But you won't even consider joining Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington in passing a statewide smoke-free workplace law.
But there is one issue where you love me, baby. One topic where even you government-be-damned, you're-not-the-bossof-me Hoosier masses crave Big Brother's meddling.

On that issue, you dig discrimination. You clamor to keep folks different from you quietly closeted.

Hypocritical as it may seem, all you members of the none-of-your-business, anti-bureaucracy crowd beg me to regulate the lives and loves of one infinitesimal subset of humanity.

And it's not the rapists. Not the spouseabusers. Not the sex offenders. Not the child-molesters. Not the deadbeat parents. Not the polluters. Not the puppy-killers. Not the murderers, muggers, drunks or thieves.

Nope, the ones you want me to rein in are men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women. For when it comes to this horrible, terrible, devious, dangerous threat to humanity and the planet, you love to have Big Brother dictate who can love whom, and under what circumstances and whether we even speak of such salaciousness.

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I thought this piece was fantastic! I sent Mr. Hetrick an e-mail, thanking him for the article. I urge all of you to do the same - we have to thank our allies! Here is my e-mail to him:

Dear Mr. Hetrick,

Thank you so much for your recent article in the Indianapolis Business Journal. As the mother of a gay son and a member of PFLAG (Parents, Friends and Families of Lesbians and Gays), I am working to help stop this upcoming amendment. It is harmful to not only the gay community but to the heterosexual community as well. If only people would see that!

One way to stop the amendment is for citizens to write to their legislators, asking them to vote No on SJR-7. Our PFLAG chapter has begun a campaign called "100 Letters to Legislators". If you go to, you will see a box that says "Stop the Amendment." Click on that and follow the prompts. You will find Talking Points and sample letters. We are hoping that not only will people write letters but that they will lead their friends and relatives to our site so they, too, can petition their legislators.

Thank you so much for taking a stand on this important issue!


Annette Gross

Outstanding article there from Mr. Hetrick, and a perfect example of how to frame this for the Hoosier masses. Conservatives have been hypocritical on the issue of government intervention for far too long and this perfectly illustrates the issue in stark terms.

Marla R. Stevens | March 6, 2007 7:15 PM

Bil, the link's broken. Do you have a better one?