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Former Indiana State Rep. Laments His Vote Against Gay Marriage

Indianapostcard With conservatives back in control of Indiana's government, marriage equality and civil unions are again on the chopping block.

Just this week an Indiana House committee approved a law that would not only explicitly ban same-sex marriage, but also civil unions, despite the fact that Indiana lawmakers have already passed a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, and prohibit civil unions.

As lawmakers consider this new law, a Democrat who voted for a similar law that ultimately failed, former State Rep. Dave Crooks, has penned an op-ed describing that vote as his "worst."


I believe the worst vote I ever cast was to amend the Indiana Constitution to ban gay marriage and civil unions. I cast the vote for my own political reasons. Many people told me a “no” vote could cost me re-election and would upset the majority of the people I represented.
...
I fear the amendment, once on the ballot, will create more hate against lesbians and homosexuals. I also believe it will hurt our economy. Indiana employers who attempt to attract the best employees from across the nation and around the globe will discover many potential employees will say no to our state and take their talents and skills elsewhere. Gay entrepreneurs with money to invest will likely take their investments to a more tolerant state.


Crooks explains that though he's "not an advocate for same-sex marriage," he does believe the potential legislation "goes too far."

"Indiana already has a ban against same-sex marriage... There is no reason to ban both same-sex marriage and civil unions," he says. "The bottom line for me: Lawmakers should never use our precious constitution to take away rights from any of our citizens." While Crooks' comments are compelling, inaction on the current law also tarnishes the violation: without overturning the "traditional," legalized definition of marriage, there can be no true progress for gay people or the state of Indiana.

Read Crooks' entire letter, AFTER THE JUMP...

From The Indianapolis Star:

I served 12 years in the Indiana General Assembly as a state representative from 1996-2008. I cast thousands of votes during my legislative career. However, I believe the worst vote I ever cast was to amend the Indiana Constitution to ban gay marriage and civil unions. I cast the vote for my own political reasons. Many people told me a “no” vote could cost me re-election and would upset the majority of the people I represented. The amendment eventually died in committee the following session and never reached the ballot for voter approval.

Let’s face it. Indiana already has a ban against same-sex marriage. The law has held for several years. However, Republicans who now control all of state government are hell-bent on passing the amendment. These so-called conservatives can’t wait to tamper with our constitution. Many Democrats who once faced the fear I did as a legislator will likely join them.

I fear the amendment, once on the ballot, will create more hate against lesbians and homosexuals. I also believe it will hurt our economy. Indiana employers who attempt to attract the best employees from across the nation and around the globe will discover many potential employees will say no to our state and take their talents and skills elsewhere. Gay entrepreneurs with money to invest will likely take their investments to a more tolerant state.

I’m not an advocate for same-sex marriage. However, I believe the amendment goes too far. There is no reason to ban both same-sex marriage and civil unions. The bottom line for me: Lawmakers should never use our precious constitution to take away rights from any of our citizens.

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Comments

  1. When middle American Religious Extremist law makers in mid-west states complain about the economy and no jobs and whine whine, why are they wasting time and money on discrimination?

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Feb 11, 2011 1:32:14 PM


  2. I say let the shithole states do what the shithole states do. Don't they also proclaim the divinity of State rights? Let the smart states attract and provide residency for the smart people with the smart money. Then watch the Indianas and Wyomings of the nation beg for Federal Aid and lament how it's all just a big liberal conspiracy. And when they beg, let the Feds predicate aid on their wiping from their bigoted State Constitutions all remnants of hatred and stupidity.

    Posted by: Tom | Feb 11, 2011 1:46:30 PM


  3. Sounds like someone is trying to have his cake and eat it too. Oh I voted for it, but now I'm sorry? What a loser! Which is worse? Repugs who vote against us, or this blue dog dumbocrat who votes against us, then cries how sorry he is? Well, he is sorry... a sorry excuse for a legislator.

    Posted by: Reggie | Feb 11, 2011 1:51:26 PM


  4. Reggie....I was just gonna post the same comment. Scr*w him. Too little, too late.

    Posted by: Windy | Feb 11, 2011 2:29:05 PM


  5. How utterly pathetic that he put his re-election efforts ahead of the thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of LGBT folks in his state. Typical. Trying to talk out of both sides of his face. F'Em.

    Posted by: Bryan Del Rizzo | Feb 11, 2011 2:52:30 PM


  6. I appreciate the fact that he has changed his mind. That's better than not admitting he was wrong. But that phrase "lesbians and homosexuals" still makes my eyes roll. I've heard that so many times from conservatives that I've spoken to over the years. I mean, what do they think lesbians are, if not homosexual?

    Posted by: seattle mike | Feb 11, 2011 3:02:52 PM


  7. Once again we see that leaving office is the only cure for Democratic Amoebic Spinelessness Disorder (DASD). Leaving office cured both Bill Clinton and Al Gore, who are now both marriage equality advocates as well as many other FORMER Democratic elected officials. Once they become powerless to actually do anything for LGBT equality, they have this miraculous recovery and suddenly "see the light." Sorry I have to be so cynical about this, but frankly I'm so sick of Democratic cowards. FDR and LBJ had more cajones in a flake of their dandruff than any assemblage of modern Democrats.

    Sorry Rep Crooks, apology not accepted until you actually do something to reverse the damage you have done to LGBT Indianans.

    Posted by: Craig | Feb 11, 2011 3:36:52 PM


  8. He doesn't believe the constitution should take away rights from citizens but also doesn't believe gay citizens deserve equality. The typical politician's schizophrenia. When he says he's not an advocate for marriage equality, the follow-up question is: Why not? Explain, in rational terms Mr. Precious Constitution. You think gay people are going to move to Indiana just cause you don't want to enshrine discrimination in the constitution but still believe in discrimination? Indiana sure ain't that fabulous, honey.

    The only thing wimpy Democrat is right about is that Republicans in control of any government are very dangerous for civil rights.

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 11, 2011 4:16:56 PM


  9. Too little Too Late, bunghole. Crawl back under the rock please...

    Posted by: New Jersey Boi | Feb 11, 2011 4:26:05 PM


  10. Indiana has reached an all time low. Between this, the Arizona like immigration reform and Mike Pence trying to stop all funding for planned parenthood, I wonder whats next.

    Posted by: donna | Feb 12, 2011 4:36:51 AM


  11. Between Mike Pence and Mitch Daniels, we couldn't possibly have two worse public figures representing the Hoosier state on a national level.

    Posted by: CLB | Feb 12, 2011 11:31:36 AM


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