Bil Browning

The Blade has two sides

Filed By Bil Browning | June 29, 2007 10:49 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: civil rights, constitutional amendment, evangelical Christian, fundamentalists, marriage, Mitch Daniels, New Jersey, pandering, SJR-7

So what the hell is up with Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels - or "The Blade" as his former boss George W called him? This man has more faces than Eve. (And just like Eve, he'll be supplanted in the party by an even more conniving and scheming SOB.)

Let's look at two recent statements he's made about a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. The amendment failed in committee this year, but can still be brought back next year - and most likely will since the LGBTQ community has become the whipping post for the Republican party.

First we have the statement that Daniels made when he announced his re-election campaign as quoted in the Indianapolis Star:

While Republicans running for the legislature are likely to be campaigning heavily on the need for a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and on immigration reform, Daniels said neither issue will get emphasis from him.

"I do believe there are other things more important to our future, at least other things that a governor and the people around him can try to work on," he said. "And, secondly, I'm always trying to bring this state together, and we don't have, I don't believe, the luxury of division."

After the Republican fundraising hate group American Family Association sent out an e-mail alert about the Guv's statement (including stolen photographs from local community members), he's started back pedaling quickly from his inclusive stance. In fact, in the same letter he indicates that either the AFA or the Indy Star reporter are liars. Check out the e-mail his office is now sending out to those who wrote him based on the AFA action alert (emphasis mine):

Thank you for contacting me regarding the proposed constitutional amendment on the definition of marriage. Either the out-of-state organization that contacted you received incorrect information about my position on this matter, or they were grossly unfair.

The organization criticized me for comments I made during a June 15th media availability. Here is the specific question asked by one local reporter along with my verbatim response.

Question: "Among the issues that other Republicans are going to be running on, especially in the House this year, is the same sex marriage amendment and immigration and I was wondering if you agree with them on those issues, and will their agenda be your agenda?"

Governor Daniels: "Well, I've agreed with them (proponents) on an amendment. I'm not sure there is a unified position on immigration; people have a range of views there. I will just say these won't be emphases of mine."

This public statement was the latest in dozens I have made regarding the proper definition of marriage. As I clearly said on June 15th, and have always stated, I support the traditional definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman, and would support an amendment to confirm this further in Indiana law.

As you know, governors are specifically separated from the constitutional amendment process, having neither the opportunity to sign nor veto the resolutions that send proposed amendments to statewide votes.

The ultimate decision on this important matter should rightly rest with the people of Indiana, and although the amendment did not make it out of committee during this past legislative session, the Indiana General Assembly will have another opportunity to address this important issue when they convene in January of 2008.

Please feel free to share this communication with your family and friends as you feel appropriate, so they too clearly understand I support the traditional definition of marriage. Thank you for your citizenship.

Mitch Daniels

Now, as you know, I cover Indiana LGBTQ politics extensively, it's why I started blogging. Have you seen any other posts on the site about those dozens of other statements? I did a search of the site and I couldn't find them. I couldn't remember Daniels making any statements. The only thing I could even remotely remember was when Daniels made a campaign stop with some in the LGBTQ community during his first run for office. At the time, Daniels made it clear that he didn't support same-sex marriage, but that he also wasn't in favor of a constitutional amendment. We were spoonfed the whole "policies of division" line then.

So I wonder who's the liar? The Indy Star reporter who quotes Mitch directly, or Mitch's campaign who put out a completely different quote? Do we have a governor who doesn't want to segregate Hoosiers based on sexual orientation, race and national origin? Or do we have a Guv who chooses to pander to the basest elements of his party to raise needed cash and feed the far-right fundie machine?

I'm betting on the pandering too.

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The thought has crossed my mind that with legislators resigning their positions to hold on to their free medical for life perk what are the chances sjr7 will be defeated again next legislative session?

Bil said, "The only thing I could even remotely remember was when Daniels made a campaign stop with some in the LGBTQ community during his first run for office. At the time, Daniels made it clear that he didn't support same-sex marriage, but that he also wasn't in favor of a constitutional amendment. We were spoonfed the whole "policies of division" line then."

Gee, ya think this might be one reason why this 'top secret' meeting (which included major closet freaks...thus the top secret need) with Daniels caused such a stir when it leaked out; could it be that the BS Daniels spoon-fed ya all was done with the hope those folks in turn would spoon-feed it to the queer community at large!

VERY good question, Donna. I'm hoping that the state-level orgs are better prepared for knowing where the chips lay than they were last year!

Kay - I agree. I was skeptical then and I'm skeptical now. He didn't get my vote then (and I remember he got a lot of angry muttering at the meeting). I tried to find my old e-mail I had sent to the GayIndy mailing list after the meeting, but I couldn't find it. I remember I expressed my doubts to the list then too...