Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Indiana One Step Closer to Discrimination in Our Constitution

The Indiana State Senate passed the gay marriage amendment by the disgustingly wide margin of 40-10.  Since the House has already passed the same bill, the first of three steps required to add discrimination to the Indiana Constitution is now complete.

Changing the constitution in Indiana requires two consecutive, separately elected legislatures to pass the bill.  If that occurs, the amendment must then be passed by the voters.  Should that happen, the amendment then becomes part of our state's defining document.  I talk more about this in my first blog on this issue, Gay Marriage in Indiana....Constitutional Discrimination Coming Soon!

There is already a state law banning gay marriage in Indiana.  Adding a constitutional amendment is unnecessary and redundant.  (Those two words describe so much of what government does...unnecessary and redundant.)  Proponents of the amendment love to say that the amendment is necessary to prevent activist judges from changing the law as it currently is.  The truth, though, is that attitude towards gay marriage is changing at an exponential rate.  Lawmakers know that within a very short number of years there will to be plenty of support to pass legislation making gay marriage legal and recognized in Indiana.  If they can pass an amendment now, then public approval of gay marriage will mean it will still take several years before it can be legal.

If this amendment passes another legislature and the voters, then our only hope to eliminate this discrimination will be...*gulp*...the federal government.  That's right, the feds.  If this amendment becomes a reality then the only way it could ever get removed from our constitution in a short period of time is if the Supreme Court rules it unconstitutional on the federal level.  That process could take even longer than the process of re-changing our amendment.

This is what our legislators are banking on.  They are begging for this to get passed now so that it will take years and years for it to ever get changed again.  They know that public opinion will soon demand recognition of gay marriage, so they take steps now to smack down that public opinion.  And that's what they consider a victory.

The bright side to all this is that there are still two more steps that must be taken to change the constitution.  After the 2012 elections, another State House and State Senate must pass the amendment, and then the voters must give it the green light.  We have time to make our opinions known, but we must be loud and we must start now.  Start talking to people and start calling and emailing legislators today to prevent an embarrassing horror from happening tomorrow.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

What Happened to the Antiwar Movement?

The folks at want to know what happened to the anti-war movement. Especially relevant now that Obama's dropping bombs of his own.

I love the stat that, despite being nearly identical, Obama's foreign policy has a 78% approval rating where W's had a 22%. As the video says, war is bipartisan. With things going the way they are in Afghanistan and Iraq, we will probably see these Republican wars that turned into Democrat wars last plenty long enough to turn into Republican wars again.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Gay Marriage in Indiana....Constitutional Discrimination Coming Soon!

Get ready, gay Hoosiers! It's already illegal in Indiana for you to get married. But that's just not enough for the religious right. They want a constitutional amendment that says marriage is between one man and one woman.

Why do they want a constitutional amendment? Because it's so much harder to change. See, if they just run with the current law on the books, then gay marriage rights can be provided by any upcoming legislature. Amending the state constitution, though, means it would take years and years to ever allow homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals in Indiana.

That's because changing the constitution in Indiana isn't easy (nor should it be.) To change the constitution in Indiana, the amendment must pass through two separately elected legislatures and then also pass a vote by the citizens. The amendment currently being discussed would have to be approved by the current legislature, then re-approved by the legislature in 2013 or 2014, then approved by voters in 2014.

So what happens if this amendment gets passed (you're kidding yourself if you don't think this is on the path to get passed.) Immediately, nothing will change for the gay community; they can't marry now and they won't be able to marry then. The change is in the number of hurdles they'll have to jump to finally get the same rights as everyone else. You see, today gay marriage could be allowed at any time. If this amendment gets through, though, gays wouldn't be able to gain marriage rights in Indiana until the EARLIEST. And to get them by 2018, the legislative stars would have to align in a very specific way.

Why are they even trying to pass this amendment? To protect marriage, so they say. What supporters of the amendment fail to discuss, though, is that homosexual marriage is not the problem with marriage today. Divorce rates are through the roof, number of people married multiple times is through the roof, custody battles are increasing in both frequency and ferocity. The problem with marriage today has absolutely nothing to do with homosexuals or with gay marriage. Today's problems with marriage have only to do with marriage between one man and one woman. The fight to "save marriage" should be focused there.

(Because so little data is currently available it's not worth showing statistics, but early information from the states that allow gay marriage indicate incredibly low divorce rates among gays.)

The government should stay out of the business of who can or cannot get married. The government should view marriage the same as they do a contract; government should recognize the contract and help to settle disputes over it. If homosexuals wish to marry, then they should be allowed to marry.

Government should stay out of the religious side of marriage, too, though. When gay marriage is legalized (an inevitability, even if far off) then no requirement to conduct gay marriages should be made of churches. If a church does not wish to conduct gay marriage ceremonies, then there should be no legal requirement for them to do so.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Government & the NFL 2011 Lockout Labor Mess

The folks at always put out some really good videos. They are always smart and well-produced, and often funny.

Recently, they tackled (get it?) the current problems with the NFL and its players. It is a short video that does a great job of showing why the government should stay out of the affairs of private business.