Don Sherfick

The Pelath-Hershman SJR-7 matter

Filed By Don Sherfick | March 09, 2007 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Brandt Hershman, Indiana Constitution, Indiana legislature, marriage, Pelath, SJR-7

I don't usually comment on other postings concerning political ins-and-outs in Indiana General Assembly, but Bil's recent item, complete with a row of hearts linking photos of Senator Brant Hershman and Representative Scott Pelath prompts me to stick my own nose into the subject briefly.

When I first heard (over streaming video) Senator Hershman, just after SJR-7 passed the Senate last month, name Pelath as one of two managers for the measure when it went to the House, not being all that conversant with names and parties, I assumed he was a fellow Republican. When I found out via Advance Indiana's coverage of the matter that he was a key Democrat from Michigan City I was frankly disturbed.

But I've since seen some comments to the Advance Indiana item suggesting that maybe the "love-in" Bil's piece suggests may not be the entire story. And because I'm a proverbial "presume the best before shown otherwise" type of person, I did a little checking with my own source in the Michigan City vicinity. She confirms what I saw in the AI comments, and is of the impression (whether or not from personal knowledge she didn't say) that she thinks the designation took place without Pelath's being contacted first by Hershman. This would seem to me to be plausible because of AI's assertions that Hershman was concerned that he had somehow hurt Pelath by designating him. Had there been a prior conversation that would seem to have been covered between the two. I've also independently verified the comment in AI that cross-party designations are a common practice in the Indiana General Assembly and don't signal affinity for a particular bill.

I do know that Pelath was one of those Democrats who voted for SJR-7 in 2005, despite what otherwise appears to be a positive record concerning GLBT issues, particularly his role in his employer's antidiscrimination policies on sexual orientation. He is far from alone in that contradiction. Like it or not, many people who otherwise are with us on the rest of the current LGBT equality issues still struggle with the same sex marriage issues for a variety of reasons. I work and pray for their enlightenment, but I don't consider that they have necessarily gone over to the "Dark Side of the Force". It would appear to me that many people who voted that way in 2005 are now reading the editorial pages of our major newspapers, and are becoming increasingly aware of the uncertainties and difficulties, and outright misrepresentations of proponents concerning SJR-7, particularly its second sentence. So I have re-affirmed by own presumption of innocence and put away my own comic Valentine's Day cards.

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Wilson46201 | March 9, 2007 10:49 AM

So what has been Pelath's statement about this imbroglio? Has he explained himself yet? If not, why not?

I am currently checking out the story with Rep. Pelath's office. I'll update this story later when I have the correct info.

Gary Welsh | March 9, 2007 1:00 PM


Hershman can name whoever he wants as a House sponsor, but the invididual legislator must consent to having their name placed on the legislation. If Hershman did so without Pelath's consent as you suggest (which wasn't the impression I got from Sen. Hershman), then why hasn't Pelath removed his name from SJR-7? The fact is he has supported a constitional ban on same-sex marriages in the past, and he still supports one today. Why is that so hard for people to understand? The fact that Hershman chose Pelath as a co-sponsor and he didn't volunteer for the role on his own initiative is irrelevant.

Wilson46201 | March 9, 2007 1:17 PM

I does seem odd that Hershman would just pick a name out of thin air of a legislator who might then disown the "honor" being selected to be a co-sponsor. Unfortunately, it's highly likely Pelath agreed beforehand. Still, twill be interesting to see how Pelath defends his co-sponsorship...

Is it possible that the good bloggers here might want to actually check on the facts before slamming Pelath? If you want to be considered journalist quality, you would do well to cross check and do the research.

"[...]item suggesting that maybe the "love-in" Bil's piece suggests [...]"

Did someone say LOVE-IN????? If someone's doing a love-in or a kiss-in or an intercourse-in somewhere in the state, I need to know about it!

Ummm, to live-blog it, of course.

Got inside information, Maybe? Share it with everyone else. Don't keep us in suspense! Don't just dangle something like that - after all, how can I check your facts if you don't sign your name like a good commenter?

I understand your criticism about journalistic quality, but I'll remind you that this is a blog full of different contributor's opinions and thoughts not a newspaper like the Indy Star.

Here's a good explanation from Technorati's Blogging 101 that can help clear this up for you:

What's the relationship between blogging and journalism?

Weblogs are different from traditional media. Bloggers tend to be more opinionated, niche-focused, and partisan than journalists, who strive for editorial objectivity. Blogs encourage dialog with readers, which is why many traditional journalists now also have blogs. The relationship between blogging and journalism can be characterized as symbiotic rather than competitive. Bloggers are often sources for journalists, and many blogs contain commentary and riffs on what journalists wrote that day. Frequently newsmakers use blogs to respond to what journalists write about them. And by linking to traditional media, weblogs can introduce new readers to journalists and their publications.

That clear things up for you? Good. Can we move on now?