Bil Browning

IE discovers new marriage amendment attempt via anti-gay group

Filed By Bil Browning | June 15, 2009 2:45 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics

While the right-wing org Indiana Family Institute (IFI) was trumpeting the re-introduction of legislation to amend Indiana's constitution to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions Thursday night, Indiana Equality (IE) finally released a statement on Sunday afternoon. Apparently, they found out about it via the IFI e-blast and my last post quoting the right wing org. The post spawned a couple of catty comments from IE board members on a local mailing list after I quoted the Indiana Stonewall Democrats response, but mentioned that IE hadn't said a word.

The Indiana Family Institute has announced that Representative Eric Turner and Representative David Cheatham will attempt to resurrect Indiana's Marriage Discrimination Amendment during the Special Session of the Indiana General Assembly. The bill has now been denied by legislators for three years running.

The purpose of the special legislative session is to sort out Indiana's state budget. In an email to their members, the Indiana Family Institute (IFI) acknowledges that the "stated purpose of the time-limited session is corrective (to adopt the budget they were supposed to adopt during the regular session)". Nevertheless, IFI has openly taken this opportunity to fundraise at the expense of Indiana taxpayers.
Indiana Equality Action abhors this attempt to place IFI's discriminatory mission in front of the needs of Indiana citizens.

Would it be too much to ask our state's "leading" equality organization to push a press release condemning the two legislators responsible and focused on why LGBT rights should be a top priority rather than making it all about an opposition group?

The e-blast quotes and ridicules sponsor Rep David Cheatham (D - North Vernon) but not Rep Eric Turner (R - Marion). Kathy Sarris, President of Indiana Equality, is a long-time Republican donor and organizer.

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Donna Pandori Donna Pandori | June 15, 2009 4:17 PM

Indiana Equality Action abhors this attempt to place IFI's discriminatory mission in front of the needs of Indiana citizens.


It's time to hold our states leading LGBT rights advocacy group accountable. Indiana Equality is teamed with an alleged seasoned lobbyist Mark St. John whose firm boasts:

more than 40 years of combined experience in the areas of governmental affairs and lobbying, fundraising, marketing/public relations, program management/administration, and policy/procedural development. The principals of Lambda Consulting are recognized in both the private and public sectors as team players with excellent community organizing and coalition-building skills.

However, for all their efforts LGBT equality in Indiana = Zero and nothing on the horizon is looking like this will change. Is this acceptable peformance? What are they paying St. John for?

Perhaps it's time for new leadership.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | June 17, 2009 8:10 AM

A couple of weeks back I called for the need for all major GLBT groups to organize around their strengths rather than cross purposes. We just have too many orgs. Even you Bil lamented that there is not even a Gay community center in Indianapolis. That is doable. Everyone gets and gives up something for the greater good. The biggest "get" would be an organized single voice, one donor list, rather than slivers of organizations with no money acting without knowledge of what the other hand is doing.

Appearances from outside are frequently different from the strategy discussions inside and I think that is how many of these misunderstandings form.