Don Sherfick

SJR7 Revisited: Why Micah Clark Is Throwing His Own Legal Experts Under the Bus

Filed By Don Sherfick | April 29, 2008 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics

There's a lively debate between me and the American Family Association's Micah Clark going on at Veritas Rex, the blogsite of the Indiana Family Institute. Micah started with the usual blather blaming the Democratic leadership in the Indiana House for the death of SJR7, the so-called "Indiana Marriage Protection Amendment" to the Hoosier constitution. I countered, charging that he had only to look to himself and his forces supporting the amendment, for blowing it.

That set him off big time, with the usual flailing diatribes against "goofy gay activist rhetoric". But I expected that. What I didn't expect, and am still reeling from, is his throwing his own cited legal sources from Catholic University of American under the bus. He's denied critical links between his side's choice to cut and past SJR7 from the proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, something that those sources as well as other used to support passage of SJR7. He's trying to distance himself from Senator Brant Hershman, chief legislative sponsor of the measure, who sent the Catholic University letter to scores of Indiana newspaper editorial boards. That's a pretty convoluted and desperate move on his part, but not at all untypical.

Although SJR7 is dead, and one might wonder why at this point in time it matters at all, I am undertaking on this and other sites a more detailed discussion of this issue, for one main reason. Although SJR7 is dead, the issue isn't, and legislators, the media, and the public need to be alert to the bait and switch tactics of his movement in the area of marriage amendments. The critical connection between SJR7 and the Federal Marriage Amendment, which he and his compatriots have wished would go away doesn't fit easily within a 30 second sound bite or a 300-word limitation on letters to the editor; even my own colleagues have quickly gotten "deer in the headlights" looks when I've first tackled it with them. That's one advantage Micah and his ilk have had.......they simply yell "homosexual activism", bash "unelected activist judges", "just let me vote", and other bits of quick sloganeering rather than address key issues.

So give me a little bit of your time and an ounce of patience in the next couple of weeks and I'll do my best to lay it out for you. And feel free to pass it on to your lawmaker and favorite media folks, or to link to it in any of your on ventures at other relevant sites.

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Thank you for continuing to cover this.

I think it is extremely important not to become complacent about this issue and continue to stay alert for sneaky chicanery from proponents of SJR7.

I think as more people become more knowedgable about the glbt community they will distance themselves more and more from folks like Michah Clark. The sloganeering will begin to sound like the insane rhetoric it is.