In North Carolina, according to Talking Points Memo, you can’t join the Laurens County Republican Party and get on the primary ballot “unless you pledge that you’ve never ever had pre-marital sex — and that you will never ever look at porn again. Evidently, the LCGOP unanimously adopted a resolution requiring all candidates who want to get on the primary ballot to sign a pledge containing 28 “principles.” Those principles, according to the Clinton Chronicle, include the following somewhat difficult to enforce provisions.
“You must favor, and live up to, abstinence before marriage.You must be faithful to your spouse. Your spouse cannot be a person of the same gender, and you are not allowed to favor any government action that would allow for civil unions of people of the same sex.
You cannot now, from the moment you sign this pledge, look at pornography.”
I can almost hear you chuckling. That’s the South for you. Retrograde. Homophobic. Bible belt.
Well, choke back that chuckle, Hoosiers, because we have nothing to feel superior about. Our homophobes are every bit as crazy and obsessed as those in North Carolina’s backwoods. And it is highly unlikely that their legislators could be any more craven than the sorry lot that we’ve elected to the Indiana Statehouse.
I posted before about the recent effort to prevent the Indiana Youth Group from having a specialty license plate. If you are a sane individual, you might wonder why anyone would care that a nonprofit organization applied for a specialty plate to use in its fundraising? To ask that question is to demonstrate conclusively that you are not the sort of good Christian that Eric Miller and Micah Clark believe should live in our fine state. You clearly don’t understand that allowing a GLBT teen counseling center to have an Indiana license plate is the first step to damnation. It might even send a message that gay people are citizens.
That’s the first step down a slippery slope that will turn all of Indiana gay!
After a good deal of lobbying and grass-roots organizing, that mean-spirited effort appeared to have failed. But you can’t keep good “Christians” down! Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana and Eric Miller of Advance America have evidently regrouped, and persuaded legislators to kill off the specialty plate for IYG when the bill comes to conference committee. I’m told that the proposed conference report that will be offered for consideration on Senate Bill 257 –the Motor vehicle law–will contain some version of the language that was defeated earlier, and will eliminate the IYG license plate. (I’m also told that they’ll have to suspend the rules in order to get this done, since the language to be inserted didn’t appear in either the House or Senate versions–but hey, what’s a little rule suspension among the godly?)
Because, you know, we really can’t have Indiana license plates acknowledging the existence of gay people. Think of the children!
Some of Indiana’s most prominent citizens have lobbied this legislature for such things as a comprehensive smoking ban, public transportation, a more equitable tax code, fairness for working people and similar matters of substance. Our Senators and Representatives have had no problem shrugging off the requests of those civic leaders. But evidently, they just can’t ignore Eric Miller and Micah Clark, with their seductive–albeit whackadoodle–agenda of bigotry and extremism.
It’s like that line from Brokeback Mountain–they just can’t quit them.
And evidently, we can’t quit electing them. The question is, why?