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04/19/2007


Indianapolis Bakery Refuses to Make Cake for Gay Couple: VIDEO

Indy_bakers

111 Cakery, an Indianapolis baker that "has always done business based on their Christian faith" according to FOX59 News, is refusing to make a cake for a gay couple's commitment ceremony.

111cakeryIn doing so they have stepped right into the nationwide debate about anti-gay "religious freedom" legislative initiatives that have sprung from these types of incidents around the country.

Mike Stephens and Shane Laney approached the owners about getting a pastry:

“[The owner] said, ‘We don’t do that. If I can help you with anything else, but we don’t discriminate.’ That was the end of it,” he said. “It’s disappointing.”

Said the baker Randy McGath:

“As artists, we have to find inspiration to create something special for our clients. When asked to do a cake for an occasion or with a theme that’s in opposition with our faith? It’s just hard for us. We struggle with that...There is zero hate here. This causes us to do a lot of soul searching. Why are we doing what we do? We want to show the love of Christ. We want to be right with our God, but we also want to show kindness and respect to other people.

Watch FOX59's report (autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Indianapolis Bakery Refuses to Make Cake for Gay Couple: VIDEO" »


Indiana Woman Barred From Same-Sex Partner's Hospital Room

HospitalAn Indianapolis woman, Sarah Bray, 34, has been kept from seeing her partner after her partner suffered from a drug overdose in an apparent suicide attempt, according to The Indianapolis Star. Bray's partner, whose name is being withheld due to the nature of her hospitalization, is currently unconscious and is recovering at Franciscan St. Francis Health-Indianapolis. Bray's partner was brought there Wednesday after Bray's two sons (ages 10 and 12 respectively) discovered Bray's partner on the bathroom floor, foaming at the mouth at 6 AM. Bray, an employee of St. Francis, then took her partner to the hospital and shortly after called her partner's mother to inform her of the news. Unfortunately, as soon as her partner's mother arrived, Bray and her two sons were told they could no longer visit with Bray's partner. The situation has not abated:

Bray said she hasn’t been allowed to see her partner since, claiming that the hospital ­sided with her partner’s mother’s wishes to keep her away. Bray said her partner’s mother does not support their relationship, which is why the mother didn’t want her in the room. When reached by phone Wednesday for comment, the patient’s mother said, “We’re not interested,” and hung up.

“She’s playing with the wrong person,” Bray said, “because I know that I have rights, and I’m going to fight for those rights no matter what.”

Many, including GetEqual Indiana spokesman David Stevens, are calling this "a clear violation of LGBT hospital visitation rights,” citing President Obama's 2010 directive that granted "hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners at hospitals that accept Medicare and Medicaid — even in states such as Indiana that don’t recognize same-sex partnerships." Spurring on even more questions is the fact that the burden of proof for banning someone from visiting a patient, even if the request comes from a family member or an official next-of-kin representative, is fairly high:

A next-of-kin representative must make a strong argument to ban someone from ­visiting a patient, such as concerns over disruption or harm to the patient.

“You’d have to have a good reason,” said Jennifer A. Drobac, a professor of law at the Indiana University Robert H. ­McKin­ney School of Law in Indianapolis. “It would have to boil down to a medically necessary decision.”

Banning someone simply because of animosity or disapproval of an individual — which Bray says is happening in her partner’s case — isn’t a strong enough argument, Drobac said.

“That clearly is discrimination,” she said.

Joe Stuteville, a hospital spokesman, acknowledged that the hospital usually gives the upper hand to a patient’s next-of-kin representative to ­determine who can or can’t visit. “Without having the specifics on this case,” he said, “I can only say we do not discriminate. We understand end-of-life issues.”

Bray has been together with her partner since May but has known her for the past 13 years. She says the couple had made plans to marry in nearby Iowa and picked out wedding rings just this past Tuesday.

(Photo via Facebook)


Indianapolis City Council Votes to Oppose Legislation Banning Gay Marriage

The Indianapolis City-County Council last night voted to oppose efforts to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage, the AP reports:

IndianaCouncil members voted 22-6 Monday night in support of a resolution urging the Legislature to reject the proposed constitutional amendment. Democratic council vice president John Barth says Indiana needs to present itself as a welcoming place for all people. All 15 council Democrats supported the resolution, along with seven Republicans. Six Republicans voted against it.

Republican councilwoman Ginny Cain said she opposed the resolution because the marriage amendment's fate should be decided by voters.

The measure will come before legislators next year with possible inclusion on the November 2014 ballot.


Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce Comes Out Against Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

Indianapolislove

Indianapolis, Indiana's largest business group announced today it opposes a proposed constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality in the state, The Indianapolis Star reports:

The Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce is the latest high-profile business interest to oppose the amendment, which the General Assembly will consider for the second and final time early next year. If the legislature approves the amendment, called House Joint Resolution 6, then heads to Indiana voters in a statewide referendum in November 2014.

"The Indy Chamber is in the business of strengthening our economy and attracting top talent to our region," John Thompson, chairman of the chamber's board, said in a news release. "The proposed marriage amendment does nothing to help show the nation that Indiana is a place that welcomes all, not just some. And we must be mindful of how actions such as this will impact our competitiveness on a national and global level."

Not only would the proposed amendment enshrine anti-marriage equality language into the state's constitution, it would also explicitly outlaw civil unions, which Indiana does not currently provide.

A recent poll found that two-thirds of Indiana voters oppose the proposed constitutional amendment.  The campaign against the amendment, known as Freedom Indiana, kicked off this summer and is led by campaign manager Megan Robertson, a Republican who supports equal marriage rights.

In a position statement posted on its website, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce highlighted Indiana's "brain drain" as one of its reasons for opposing the constitutional amendment:

"Indiana's struggles to retain its college graduates are well documented and often acknowledged in the state legislature. Its necessity to ease this "brain drain" by attracting talent on a national scale would be inhibited by adopting an unnecessary, discriminatory amendment with fading support from younger generations.

"As the only potential marriage amendment up for consideration nationwide in 2014, it is important to be mindful of the conspicuous part HJR-6 would play in portraying Indiana as a state that welcomes some, but not all, talented workers."


Indiana's First Openly Gay Countywide Official to Marry Longtime Partner

Zach AdamsonIndiana's first openly gay countywide official, Zach Adamson, will be making history once again, announcing that he and longtime partner Christian Mosburg will be heading to D.C. this week to get married. Indianapolis Star has the story:

Like any couple on the verge of marriage, they're excited about taking their vows. But they also hope that marriages like theirs can help to further break down the stereotypes and biases that have discriminated against gay individuals and couples for so long.

"It's important that people see this doesn't have to be the wedge issue or the divisive issue that it is often portrayed as," said Adamson, a 42-year-old first-term Democratic councilman. "We are just doing what other people do."

Adamson said the positive reception they've received, and the opportunity to get married, "just speaks to how far we've come." It's indeed a reminder of how much things have changed in a relatively short period of time.

Zach Adamson 2GOP leaders in the state, however, have been immune to these changes, continuing to push for a state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage on the November 2014 ballot. Polls have already shown Hoosiers are strongly opposed to the amendment proposal, with many, including Adamson and Mosburg, seeing it as an issue of common decency.

"Putting a group of people's civil rights and self-worth up to a vote of their fellow citizens has a very deep and entrenched impact on a human being," Adamson said. 

Mosburg said in a more perfect scenario their wedding would be taking place in Indiana. State law, however, already prohibits same-sex marriages, so the couple will have to make do with a follow-up ceremony in Indianapolis. 

"This is where we live," he said. "This is where we've put our home base. This is where most of our friends are. You should be able to say that the place you've chosen to be your home is your home for everything."

And one day, it will be.

(photo via Facebook


Gay Indiana Teen Settles Bullying Lawsuit Against School District

Young and Twin Brother

Towleroad has previously reported on Darnell "Dynasty" Young, the openly gay Indianapolis teen who was expelled after bringing a stun gun to school to defend himself against bullies. Young subsequently sued Indianapolis Public Schools for discrimination, restriction of free speech, and negligence, alleging that school officials did nothing to protect him. 

According to WTHITV News, Young has agreed to settle for $65,000. 

The proposed settlement filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Indianapolis also calls for the school district to remove all references of Darnell "Dynasty" Young being expelled from school from the 18-year-old's academic record. The agreement still must be approved by a judge.

Young also told WTHITV in a telephone interview that "he's pleased with the settlement," and that "he plans to use the money to launch an anti-bullying magazine."


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