Crowd Packs Indiana Statehouse to Oppose Gay Marriage

Over 1,000 people jammed the Indiana statehouse today to support an amendment that would ban gay marriage, according to the South Bend Tribune:


“The conservative group Advance America organized the rally, which drew a crowd so large that many watched speeches from the upper levels of the Statehouse. Advance America founder Eric Miller urged lawmakers to repeal property taxes and support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

‘It’s not a Republican or Democrat issue,’ he said. ‘It’s right versus wrong.'”

It’s possible the amendment could appear on the 2008 ballot should this legislature pass it, as it requires two separately-elected General Assemblies to pass the measure, and it was passed already in 2005.

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  1. RJP3 says

    It is a matter of right and wrong – they are correct and they are wrong.

    Do a Google Search on Bible Judgement or Bible Self-Rightousness.

    I have been learning that “pastors” are preaching and indoctrinating an entirely different kind of “christianity” that promotes RIGHTOUS JUDGEMENT of others as what CHRIST WANTS.

    THAT is what is creating our Christianists problems in America.

  2. Charles says

    Well, you have to give them credit-they actually turn out to show their support for something. We just go online, ogle some manflesh, and speculate about Jake Gyllenhaal and wonder why we arent just handed the right to marry.

    I think even with a Dem. president in 2008 (crossing fingers), this will not be getting better and we can’t pin all the blame on them.

    Of course (small voice) marriage isnt the primary thing on my agenda (small voice) but it seems like even for those for whom it is, they really arent doing anything to obtain it.

  3. karashi says

    ‘It’s not a Republican or Democrat issue,’ he said. ‘It’s right versus wrong.’

    It’s already been pointed out that this is utterly correct, just misguided in intent.

    It’s pretty obvious that he’s less bipartisan than he pretends to be, though. I love how republicans like to leave the ‘ic’ off democratic. (see also: Fox News)

  4. Jonathon says

    We face an uphill battle for marriage equality. There is no question about that. Our opponents are better funded, better organized and are working with entrenched prejudices and misconceptions about gay people.

    Their job is easy: go out and bang the same old drum about how gay men are really paedophiles and want to convert your children into their “Satanic lifestyle”.

    Remember: political and religious conservatism and fundamentalism are based on FEAR. Fear is their leverage, and if you examine closely everything that is said about us (gays), every argument made against our right to marry, right to exist, etc. is based in fear.

    Coming out is the most courageous and most productive act that any gay man or lesbian can perform. Coming out to one’s family, friends, coworkers, etc. means that these people at long last can say they know a gay person. No longer will “gay” be just an abstract idea. When they hear the word “gay” or “homosexual” their first thought will be of the person that they know. Without such personal points of reference, it is easy to dehumanize, demonize and stereotype the whole group of us.

    Statistics have shown that people who actually know a gay person are less likely to be anti-gay. Just look at the remarkable progress we’ve made over the past 20 years alone! Would any of us have thought back in 1989 or 1990 that in less than 15 years we’d be within reach of legal marriages?

    Let the homophobes bark. Let them demonstrate. Remember… most of us WORK for a living and don’t have the luxury of running down to the state house and demonstrating at will. My bet is that these demonstrators are mostly older and retired people who were bussed in by their church or favorite wingnut political group. I doubt there were many 20, 30 or even 40-somethings there.

    There is no guarantee that with a Democratic president in 2009 would come marriage equality, but it is still a reason to hope, because we all know that there is ZERO chance of a Republican president signing pro-gay legislation. So long as Congress is dominated by those who have a political stake in keeping gays and lesbians from legal marriage and full equality there will be no progress on the national/Federal level. We must continue the hard job of winning hearts and minds so that as the old, reactionary and conservative homophobes die they are not replaced. I don’t want to think that it will take another generation before everyone is allowed to marry (i.e., not just in Massachusetts), but that may indeed be the case.

    If you want to improve the odds of actually getting married in your own lifetime, do what you can to encourage young people to get out and vote. Talk to your neighbors. Talk to your cousins, nephews, nieces and the like. Get their butts off the couch and into the voting booth. The younger generation is on our side. We’ve got to do everything we can to bring change – and I think that getting sympathetic voters into the polling places is the best way to start.

    As for those in the gay community who don’t put marriage high on their own agenda, well hang in there. With marriage equality will come everything else. When the government recognizes our relationships it will be harder and harder for them to discriminate against us in other ways. When we all can marry, we all win.

  5. Charles says

    “As for those in the gay community who don’t put marriage high on their own agenda, well hang in there. With marriage equality will come everything else. When the government recognizes our relationships it will be harder and harder for them to discriminate against us in other ways. When we all can marry, we all win.”

    You cant honestly believe that. That almost seems like a nicer way of saying ‘For all of you that dont have marriage equality as the thing your life revolves around, shut up and dont rock the boat. We want to seem normal. Remember? The word for today is normal.’

    It wont change much-some countries have legal gay marriage but wont allow gay adoption.

    And it will just replicate some of the negative aspects of marriage-the idea that married people are just more important and better than singles-the ‘smug married’ syndrome. Everything will cater to couples and married folks and single gay men will feel even more like pariahs in the community-as if by not coupling up, they are letting the ‘community’ and the ’cause’ down.

    I could go on and on about this, and I already have-but the whole ‘marriage’ meme just raises a ton of issues I have with the gay scene in general.

  6. Jonathon says

    Charles, yes, I do believe that. (I wouldn’t have written it if I didn’t.) But I think that you have misinterpreted part of what I was trying to say.

    I wasn’t trying to tell anti-marriage gays to “shut up and don’t rock the boat”. My feelings regarding marriage equality have nothing to do with imposing marriage on anyone who doesn’t want it, nor am I seeking to be “normal”, presumably to please straight people. Rather, I stand up and support marriage equality for those of us who do want it. I merely point out that legally-recognized same-sex marriages will benefit EVERYONE in the gay community, even if you’re single. And it is true. When we have all of our Constitutional and “god-given” rights then we all benefit.

    No one is letting the community or the “cause” down by not marrying. But just because YOU don’t want to marry doesn’t mean that it isn’t important to the rest of us. Even though I don’t have a boyfriend or partner of my own, I still want one day to be able to marry the man of my dreams. I may be single for the rest of my life, but I know how much the quality of my own life will be raised simply by it no longer being against the law for loving same-sex couples to marry. Having a freedom and choosing to not exercise it is far preferable that not having the freedom in the first place.

    As to “cater[ing] to couples and married folks”, well join the rest of us single guys. Is there ANYTHING in our culture that doesn’t give preferred status to couples/married people? Besides… what is wrong with promoting an institution that has the potential to help create stable families and communities? What is wrong with encouraging gays to marry? What’s wrong with giving us the choice to marry or not to marry? Do you honestly think that we’d all be better off if we just go back to the old days and cruise at the bars all the time and fuck any and everybody we can pick up? AIDS ended that man. Those glory days of no-strings, no-worries gay sex are over forever – at least for guys like me who have seen far too many friends die from AIDS.

    If you have an issue with “the gay scene” then for what are you advocating? Do you not support our right to marry? Do you think that the breeders are right when they say we can’t handle it or that our relationships aren’t as “good” as theirs? What is your sense of the current status of gays in America? Are you telling me that *I* should just sit down and shut up because *you* don’t want marriage?

    Help me out here, Charles.

  7. Leland says

    HRC? HRC? Oh, now I remember. “America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality.” Also known as the group that has raked in tens of millions of dollars in the past 26 years but can’t point to ONE advance of gay rights directly attributable to them. Also known as the group that ignored the religionist monster known as the American Taliban that already existed when HRC was created and has grown bigger and more powerful and more ruthless every year since. AKA the group that can get 3000 people for a self-perpetuating fundraiser but doesn’t even participate in let alone organize public demonstrations of 30 people to counter protest such mobs as swarmed the Indiana State House today. AKA the group that primarily preaches to the choir wrapped in their own goddamn flag [wasn’t the rainbow or American flag goo enough?] while ignoring the public that stampedes the polls time after time to vote down our rights while their children terrorize our youth in schools large and small. THAT HRC?

  8. Shaun says

    Well atleast next door to Indiana, they’re getting ready to legalize civil unions via the state legislature and not through the courts.

    For every Indiana story that puts you down, just think of places like Illinois, Oregon, New Hampshire, etc… where legalization of gay marriage/civil unions is on the agenda this year.

  9. Charles says

    Jonathan, first off, my brother is named Jonathan and he’s an argumentative lawyer so this feels very familiar to me…

    I am not against gay marriage. I am all for the idea that if you want to get married, knock yourself. I am tired of the idea that all gay issues, which in many cases are not specifically gay (at least to me) are being subsumed into the whole marriage thing and in being subsumed are not even being discussed. Why not talk about health insurance, poverty, workplace discrimination, etc without bringing up marriage. Why is there this idea that if we could only have the choice to get married, the other problems would solve themselves? I dont believe that at all.

    And I definitely dont advocate some pathetic drug fueled bacchanal (which is starting up again-AIDS didnt end it)-yeah, I would definitely advocate a stable monogamous relationship over that empty, soul killing scenario, which is too prevalent amongst gay guys now.

    Im just saying that weve become a one issue group-marriage isnt/shouldnt be the only issue on the table and right now it feels like it is and I’m tired of it.

  10. Jack! says

    Hate brings people to protest. They hate gay people that’s why they are willing to spend the time and money to fight against gay people. Most gay people don’t realize that.

  11. says

    Three of the historical claims made by opponents of same-sex marriage are demonstrably untrue.

    CLAIM — the definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman goes back thousands of years.

    FACT — The Judeo-Christian tradition does not speak with one voice on marriage. Polygamy, divorce and concubines are all part of the Old Testament tradition.

    The most commonly approved form of marriage in the past (and the one mentioned most often in the first five books of the Old Testament) was polygamy – one man, many women. Jesus broke with older religious traditions in prohibiting divorce for men as well as for women. But in doing so, he also challenged the traditional right of a man to take a second wife if the first wife was sterile. Ever since, the validity of a marriage in the Western tradition has not been dependent on ability to procreate.

    CLAIM — The Judeo-Christian heritage has always seen marriage as a sacred relationship that must be defended above all others.

    FACT — Christianity made marraige a sacrament in 1215, only about 800 years ago.

    CLAIM — marriage has endured for thousands of years without change.

    FACT — It is heterosexual couples who have been tampering with marriage for the past 200 years.

    Heterosexuals repealed the old laws mandating wives’ subordination to husbands and prohibiting divorce. It was a lawsuit involving a heterosexual Connecticut couple that led the Supreme Court to overturn laws forbidding the sale of contraceptives, thus giving married people the right to decide not to have children.

    Heterosexuals also pioneered assisted reproduction, allowing couples who cannot have children to become parents anyway. And it was heterosexuals who repealed the legal definition of marriage as the union of a husband who must play one role in the home and a wife who must play a different one.

    Until the 1980s, courts said that the husband must support the family; the wife had no such duty. Wives were charged with keeping house, rearing children and providing other personal services. That is why a man could not be charged with marital rape and a woman could not sue for loss of personal services in the event of her husband’s death. Only in the 1980s did courts redefine marriage as a union of two people with reciprocal, not complementary, duties.

    BOTTOM LINE — Once marriage came to be seen as an institution bringing together two individuals based on mutual affection and equality, without regard to rigidly defined gender roles or the ability to procreate, it’s not surprising that gays and lesbians said, “That now describes our relationships too, so why can’t we marry?” If you don’t like these changes in the institution, blame your grandparents, not the gay and lesbian couples seeking entry into this new model of marriage.

  12. Charles says

    Yeah, and I don’t know if I like it. Who determines what issue “we” focus on? And who will decide what the next one will be when we have this one dealt with?

  13. RJP3 says

    “That almost seems like a nicer way of saying ‘For all of you that dont have marriage equality as the thing your life revolves around, shut up and dont rock the boat. We want to seem normal. Remember? The word for today is normal.”

    This is the stupidest comment I have read on here in a long time…. it is not about being “normal” (what is normal anyway) …. it is about equality and the 1000 federal benefits married couples get. Why would you not want to support work that would allow you the choice to get married and get those benefits if that was indeed what you wanted.

    Freedom From Choice Is What You Want ???

    How is the fight for the option civil equality a negative for any person ???

    Dont want to be like “them” – then don’t.

    But why speak out against the work of other who are fighting for you to have the CHOICE ??

  14. RJP3 says

    Leland – you should really stop reading Andrew Sullivan.

    HRC has been at the forefront at speaking out for gay rights and fought hard for Gay Marriage in Massachusetts.

    The infighting in the gay community has always kept us back.

    Leland – what Gay Rights Organization would you recommend, if any ?

  15. Charles says

    “This is the stupidest comment I have read on here in a long time…. it is not about being “normal” (what is normal anyway)”

    Seriously, you can drop the insults-if you disagree with me, say why without the low blows. Thanks.

    How about just uncoupling the benefits from a religious ceremony or from any ceremony at all for *all* couples, regardless of sexual orientation. Sometimes it seems like people are fighting more for the ceremony (which you can throw yourself in the first place) than for the benefits.

  16. Gary says

    “The second provision includes a phrase that says state law ”may not be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.””

    The threat of these second line of their amendment is not good. Ohio has already displayed how this change can affect all of us. ‘Legal incidents’ can be domestic partner benefits, child custody issues, housing anti-discrimination, hospital visitation rights and many more issues.

    Hate is such an ugly thing.

  17. Leland says

    While I feel no need to defend my ability to think independently, I will reiterate, as I’ve made clear in other threads, that I loathe Andrew Sullivan, but even a broken clock is right twice a day, and much of what he says about HRC is dead on.

    Let’s hypothetically average out what they’ve taken in over the last 26 years at $5 million per. Granted they didn’t come close to that in their early years, but their one-night Lance & Reichen cluster fuck last October alone took in over $2 million. So, let’s say they have taken in $130 million, and that you’re correct, RJP3, that they played a decisive role in marriage equality in Massachusetts. I doubt that they did more than GLAD [the MA. group not the so-called national organization GLAAD], but even if they did, was $130 million a fair price? That means it will only cost them $6 billion 370 million more before the other 49 states have gay marriage.

    Their longest serving head, Elizabeth Birch, is gone even though she said she would stay with HRC until ENDA passed. It still hasn’t. Nor has DADT been overturned, nor federal DOMA, nor the Hate Crimes bill enacted but over 20 states have inclusively constitutionally banned gay marriage.

    Ask 100 Americans if they’ve heard of Jerry Falwell and what he stands for. Then ask the same 100 who Joe Solmonese or Elizabeth Birch is, or even HRC and what it stands for. Contrast the results.

    They like to quote [and implicity take credit for] rises in approvals of gay rights in opinion polls. Nice but in the polls that really matter-the polling places—voters are regularly kicking our ass. The one exception, Arizona, was demonstrably due to local organizations, not HRC or any other national group.

    In the 2004 election, one of the most important to LGBT rights in years not because we were more of an issue but because our enemies seemed more vulnerable due to dissatisfaction with the Iraq war, HRC bragged that they spent just over $5 million. Even assuming they can be empirically shown to have accomplished anything with that, to have achieved results that would not have occured without them, why did they leave approximately $25 million of YOUR dollars in the bank? Saving for a rainy day? What days had more rain, or rather the potential for some daylight finally than then?

    They have more than one hundred paid employees. What do they do and what empirical evidence is there that it means anything? “Speaking out for gay rights” also known as “talk” is cheap—or certainly cheaper than $30 million a year.

    Whom have I contributed to? NGLTF for one. They have a lot to answer to, too, but at least their leader, Matt Foreman, knows the differing between acting and “acting like.” He was arrested last week at the Times Square demonstration called by Larry Kramer while Joe Solmonese was probably safe in HRC’s 8-story DC castle writing another press release that no one will read.

    Every dollar that you send down HRC’s hole is a dollar that doesn’t go to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, GLSEN, Lambda Legal, PFLAG, and countless local AIDS groups that are all more deserving of your money. HRC, to use their own verb, “envisions.” Those groups DO.

  18. atheist says

    Thanks for posting the links to the vids Jeremy; youtube have taken them down (another copyright infringement, it appears). (The sight of Haggard is particularly nauseating especially in his attitude toward Prof Dawkins; a man with more intelligence, integrity and humility than Haggard can even aspire to). Those New Life evangelical sessions are just bloody scary.

  19. Stephen says

    Gay marriage is an affront to many who believe that marriage is and always has been between two members of the different sexes. Even those who don’t base their beliefs on a religious/Christian foundation see the joining of a man and woman and raising of the traditional family as the American standard.
    This is not to say that same sex couples are undeserving of many of the same benefits. They are. The difference in the couples cannot be changed, and is this: Male & females marry and have the ability to procreate. Same sex couples become joined in a civil union and are bestowed virtually all the same benefits of married couples, but can never procreate in and of themselves. There will always be that disctinction, hence that difference. And difference is not a bad thing here. To the exent that same sex couples can equate to married couples, civil unions fulfills that, bridges that gap.

  20. mark m says

    “And it will just replicate some of the negative aspects of marriage-the idea that married people are just more important and better than singles-the ‘smug married’ syndrome.”

    Funny, I think gay marriage and I think of having the right to visit my partner in the hospital on his death bed.

    But I guess I haven’t given enough thought to the greater issue of smugness.

    Charles, if you’re making the argument that civil unions are just as good, then fine. I won’t complain if they pass civil unions in this country, as long as I have the same protections as straight people.

    But when you think that the word marriage is just a religious concept that gays shouldn’t be concerned about, explain to me this:

    How would you argue that separate but equal in the 1960’s was justified for keeping black and white children separate in the school systems?

    Or would you even make that argument? Because many of the same points were brought up then regarding marriage vs. civil union. When you segregate a community you marginalize it. There’s no way around that.

  21. mark m says

    Stephen, when the government officially states that the purpose of marriage as defined legally in this country is based on the ability and the practice of making babies, your argument will have been made.

    However, that is not how our government makes the distinction between being married and just being coupled in this country.

    So you’re just flapping your gums in the meantime.

  22. Stephen says

    Once one accepts the difference in the physical unions of the different sexual relationships (same sex vs heterosex) and their inherent ABILITY, then one cannot help but agree that there will always be that uniqueness to the same sex union and the heterosexual marriage (This assumes the couples want to ‘legalize’ – for lack of a better word – their relationships). Both would be unique in there own way.
    No one is ‘marginalized.’ As for smugness, that’s YOU seeing it that way and NOT necessarily at all how the accused married couples see it.

  23. Al says

    > see… this is why I hate living in Indianapolis. :(
    > — Evan

    Evan, if you can’t maintain a stiff upper lip when a mere 1000 a-holes show up, what American city are you going to move to? Even SF or LA or NYC — do you think there aren’t one thousand homophobes in SF? Do the gay and lesbian couples in SF have marriage equality yet? (And I’m not knocking SF — it’s a fine city. Expensive, but otherwise very fine.)

    Considering that GLBTs are such a small percentage of the total Indiana population, we matched them admirably when about 400 opponents AGAINST the amendment showed up at the rally on February 19 — an encouraging feat here in the middle of the Bible Belt. I only wish we would have counter-rallied last Tuesday.

    Two questions:
    (1) If you think living in Indianapolis is oppressive, what do you think the gay men and lesbians living in the little Indiana towns (and farms) have to put up with? I live in one of those little towns, and I find that a trip to Indy is quite a joy!
    (2) Not to be at all ugly, but if you don’t like living in Indianapolis, what stops you from moving someplace you think is better?

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