So today has been one hectic day, eh?
First there was the Tony Dungy story. While most of us fully expected Coach Dungy to steer clear of any political landmines, the coach threw himself into the fray with glee. Even the Indy Star reporter, Bobby King, gave me a few minutes to come up with a quote - neither of us were expecting the coach to actually talk about SJR-7.
Plus, this morning I organized a news conference for the American Values Alliance on the steps of the Statehouse with representatives of every major political party in Indiana - all opposed to SJR-7. (See the press release here.) JoAnne Sanders (D), Scott Keller (R), Mike Kole (Libertarian), and Kathleen Dobie (Greens), and Bill Groth (AVA President) were all spectacular in their defense of the LGBT community. We owe them all a debt of gratitude. The Indianapolis Star, WTHR-13, WRTV-6, and WXIN-59 were all there, but I imagine coverage of the actual House committee meeting will knock them off the news cycle pretty quickly.
This new conference was quickly followed up with three and a half hours of sitting in the House chambers to watch and see what happened with SJR-7. The usual suspects testified on behalf of the flawed legislation - almost all of them simply religious figures with no real standing since our laws aren't based on any one religion, but rather the notion that all Americans are created equal. The two "experts" that they presented had to come from out of state - one from Arizona and the other from Colorado. Yes, Focus on the Family sent someone from Colorado to try and influence Hoosier lawmakers. All of the opponents to SJR-7 were, at least, from Indiana. Don Sherfick, the first person to speak in opposition to SJR-7, is a bilerico contributor! We know he's home-grown!
With all of the hooptey-doo that's been made over SJR-7 it makes me wonder how much of that has been influenced by out-of-state right-wing religious zealots with their own agenda. After all, the right-wing Christian orgs are affiliated with other larger organizations. If they don't do what the out-of-state home office wants, they lose a lot of funding. And since Focus on the Family even thinks that Spongebob SquarePants will turn you gay... (Remember too, that the group Coach Dungy has "embraced" is the Indiana arm of Focus on the Family! Yikes!)
In the end, the committee decided not to vote today. Does this mean they've wised up and will postpone it until next year to give time to study the matter? Will they simply strike Part B from the amendment? If so, will Part A go on the ballot in 2008? The answer, at this point, is that no one really knows. While several folks have ideas and theories, that's about as good as it gets currently.
So what was your day like today? Did you go to the committee hearing? If so, what did you think?