Fresh on the heels of a Republican sweep of Indiana's state legislature comes news that conservatives will once again try to push an amendment to ban same-sex marriage. Rep Chet Culver, long a proponent of anti-gay discrimination, has promised to bring the amendment back for another go-round. Indiana's House was narrowly controlled by Democrats before the election and former Speaker of the House Pat Bauer always killed the legislation before it could come to a vote.
Hoosier blogger Doug Masson succinctly puts his finger on the motivating factors and the consequences for the state's image:
The real urgency these folks are probably facing is that public support for giving gays the same rights as everybody else seems to be steadily on the rise.
It's always a danger to project your own experience onto the world at large, but I believe polling data supports my doing so in this case. I've gone from homophobic to indifferent to supportive of gay rights over the last 20 years. I think the world is headed in that direction; and I wouldn't be surprised if guys like Rep. Culver see that trend as well.
Either way, I'm not a fan of mucking about with the state Constitution absent some great need... We should avoid sending the signal (any more so than we already do) that we're an intellectual backwater, hostile to progress, by deliberately injecting discriminatory language into our founding document. Otherwise, we'll likely reaffirm the notion that we're just the big middle finger of the South sticking up into the Midwest.