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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - "New Albany council opposes state gay marriage ban amendment"

"Resolution approved 7-1-1 to take a stand on controversial legislation," reads the subhead to the story Nov. 21st in the New Albany News & Tribune, reported by Daniel Suddeath. Some quotes:

The city council obviously can’t mandate a state policy, but New Albany joined other Indiana organizations, businesses and universities in casting an opinion of opposition against HJR-6.

“It really is a step backward,” said Councilman Greg Phipps, the sponsor of the New Albany resolution.

It was approved 7-1-1 with Councilman Scott Blair voting against the measure and Councilwoman Diane McCartin-Benedetti choosing to abstain. * * *

Phipps, other council members and residents who attended the meeting countered that marriage is a basic right and shouldn’t be a matter of opinion.

“Certain things aren’t up for a vote in our country,” Phipps said. “Civil Rights are not.” * * *

Phipps said that if ending slavery had been left up to a general vote, some southern states would not have approved it.

Three people addressed the council during the public speaking portion of the meeting, and each opposed HJR-6.

[More] See also this long Nov. 22nd column by Matthew Tully in the Indianapolis Star, headed "More absurdity in the gay marriage debate." Here is how it begins:
So let me get this straight: Our esteemed state legislative leaders acknowledged the other day that the issue of same-sex marriage is no longer a top priority. It’s nowhere near as important, they now insist, as a long list of other issues.

OK, then why are they still talking about putting a prohibition of it in the Indiana Constitution, our state government’s most serious and sacred document? If it’s a third-tier issue, as they now suggest it is, then why waste the legislature’s time on it in the coming months?

These are questions with no good answers, because there is simply no sensible way to answer them. After all, you don’t typically have constitutional amendment debates over non-issues. You don’t often urge voters to alter your state’s guiding document over an issue that makes you shrug.

So what’s really going on? Well, after years of using the same-sex marriage issue to score political points, House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate boss David Long clearly realize it doesn’t score them many points anymore. But how to dispose of an issue that they’ve used to rally their base for so long, particularly when some on the far edges of that base still want to enshrine anti-gay discrimination in the state’s most important document?

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 27, 2013 09:00 AM
Posted to Indiana Government