Monday, January 13, 2014

Hate is not a Hoosier value: Down with HJR-3!


Update: Hundreds of marriage equality advocates have PACKED the Indiana Statehouse. 

FINAL UPDATE FOR TODAY: Hearing has ended, no vote today. I surmise it has something to do with the fact they don't want to deal with voting pro-hate in a room where they have to look into the faces of so many people who want this awful amendment to die in committee. Will be watching VERY closely, and as soon as we at Indy Feminists know when the vote will be, we will pass the word on to you. Please click here to like us on Facebook :)


So, we're within 2 hours of the Indiana House Judicial Committee's hearing and vote on House Joint Resolution 3, which was formerly known as House Joint Resolution 6. Apparently the catchy "Nix 6" slogan was just too intimidating for the GOP of Indiana? But then we're used to them dodging rules, changing rules, changing bill names, and generally just trying as much as they can to operate under cover of obfuscation.

Because they know that Indiana is not as red as our reputation would claim.

Many of us know that using religion as a cudgel isn't a Hoosier value. It may have worked in the past, but the beautiful thing about evolving in your faith is that... well, you evolve. No fewer than 17 religious denominations in Indiana affirm marriage equality. Not only does HJR-3 harm families, it is actually a harmful bill for the religious freedom of all these groups.

Indiana has a lot of faithful people, and the "silent majority" among Christians who believe God hates same sex couples and wants to curtail their natural rights, is not truly a majority. Nor are they silent. We've heard their PR campaigns loud and clear to "protect traditional marriage" etc, loud and clear, and though they don't like to acknowledge it because it's bad for PR, they know what this is really about. It's about enforcing a second-class citizen status for anyone who isn't like them.

Not even to get started on the many folks in the state who follow Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, another faith, or no faith at all. We ignore these voices to our own detriment.

The standard lines used by pro marriage equality advocates who want a swift end to HJR-3 use arguments about business development in the state, the backward image it would project on us, and the redundancy of seeking a constitutional amendment when same-sex marriage is already illegal here! Nothing yet on the repeal of our existing law, but I trust that day will come. I mean, even Utah has seen over a thousand same-sex marriages at this point. If that isn't truth that anything is possible and that our day is coming...

Which is exactly what scares the haters. They know our day is coming. Somewhere down, I'm sure most of them know they're on the losing side of history, that our children and grandchildren will see them with the same shock as we see the way our grandparents' generation treated... well, not just the Black community, but that is the most prominent example.

Our nation, and definitely our state, has a checkered past in terms of civil rights and basic human decency. We've got a chance today to stand up for better. We absolutely deserve better.

The vote is at 10:00 a.m. Eastern today. It's almost 8:30 right now. I'm hearing from the Indy Feminists Twitter account that the Statehouse is already filling. If you can, please go be there. People are coming in from all over the state. If you can't be there, wherever you are in the country, you can follow on Twitter via the hashtags #hjr3 and #inlegis. Freedom Indiana, Indy Feminists, and several other folks will be livetweeting everything.

Fellow Hoosiers, you can still click here to send your congresspeople a letter opposing the resolution. If you can't be at the statehouse today or the rally at the Artsgarden at 6pm tonight, you can still send letters, tweet #inlegis and @ingop, and most importantly, talk about it. Choose red today if you're still picking out your work clothes. That's the color anti-HJR3 activists are wearing at the Statehouse.

If you're outside of the state, we appreciate your love and support as well! You don't need to be a Hoosier to go over to Facebook and "like" Indy Feminists, Nix 6, and Freedom Indiana.

EDIT: I'll be updating the Resources link below as I get more over the course of today. I'm also compiling a list of Twitter users who are at the Statehouse. You can follow me on Twitter at @circlecitystyle

A few more resources:

Sheila Kennedy: "Clarifying" HJR-3
Indiana Forefront: Chickens Pecking Over HJR-3
Political analyst Doug Masson's analysis of the House Resolution's name change.
Indy Star article on today's hearing
Shakesville's always-good analysis of what's at stake in today's vote.
Shakesville: Indiana's Republican-controlled legislator isn't listening to Hoosiers on marriage equality
Michigan City News-Dispatch: Gay marriage ban a "waste of time" distraction from Hoosiers' real problems
Howey Politics: House GOP seeks "Clarification" to marriage amendment

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