This is Getting Tiresome

Micah Clark of the Indiana Family Institute is nothing if not dependable. And unhinged.

The Indianapolis City-County Council is considering a proposal that would extend benefits to unmarried employees whose significant others are either unemployed or cannot get those benefits from their own employers. Predictably, councilors received a long, rambling email from him with accusations that such a policy would “undermine marriage and mock Indiana’s marriage statute,” that it was a “political statement, not a policy change,” that children residing in the homes of unmarried partners “will be sexually, physically or emotionally abused,” and that “gay men are substance abusers at a higher rate than the general population.”

Zach Adamson–who has more patience than I would have with Mr. Clark’s accelerating emotional instability–calmly tried to respond to the torrent of accusations. As he noted, the proposal does not “extend marital benefits” as Clark charged; it simply amends the City’s employment package to adjust compensation levels. It is a human resources policy modeled after that used by over 60% of Fortune 500 companies to attract and retain a qualified workforce. Other midwestern cities–Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati, for example–already have such policies.

Zach’s point-by-point takedown was a great example of trying to reason someone out of a position he didn’t reason himself into. It was also futile. The two page diatribe simply dripped with hatred for GLBT people, with accusations that gays are trying to destroy marriage, that lesbians are alcoholics, homosexual men syphilitic…well, you get the picture. It is impossible to read it without wondering what demons Mr. Clark is battling–what monsters are in his personal closet.

Thankfully, the days when Micah Clark and his ilk controlled the public discourse on these issues are over. Homophobes used to be able to use religion to deflect criticism of their hatreds, but increasing numbers of churches are endorsing equality for gays and lesbians. As their fig leaves are stripped away, nothing but incoherent fury and frustration remain.

Poor Micah Clark. I feel sorry for him, but I’ll be glad when society quarantines his particular strain of mental illness.


  1. Micah Clark is the one who has a “gay agenda”. He has proven that over and over. What is his obsession with the LGBT community? The time he spends obsessing with us could be better spent on real issues affecting families.

  2. To me, the reason for domestic partner benefits is because most states don’t allow same sex marriage. I think that’s the reason companies started offering those benefits in the first place. Once same sex marriage comes – and its coming – the reason for domestic partner benefits goes away. We shouldn’t be rewarding people for simply shacking up. I’m perfectly fine with same sex marriage and benefits of this sort being limited to those who commit to each other in marriage.

  3. Thanks, Sheila, for naming Clark’s twisted proclivities for what they are. And, yeah, tiresome indeed.

    I think the City of Fort Wayne already extends benefits to domestic partners. (I know; who’d have thought FW would be ahead on matters of progressive justice?)

  4. The only problem I see here is a practical way to define and limit benefits. Without some clearly definable status like marriage (same sex or otherwise) the beneficiaries are too fluid. When is someone “significant” enough to grant benefits, can there be more than one beneficiary, when do you cut benefits? Does it have to be a cohabitation situation? What if the beneficiary maintains their own residence, but sleeps over three nights a week? Understanding full well that people can be in sham marriages, what stops someone from “shacking up” just for benefits? NONE of this has ANYTHING to do with any moral or religious issue just how to celearly define benefits and protect public funds. Paul makes a great point that CIvil Unions or marrriage must be the defining criteria.

  5. Sadly, the days of hate-group representatives, like Micah, are not yet over. Anytime there is a state level discussion of anything to do with the LGBT community, Mr. Clark is paraded out by the Republicans as an “expert” for his testimony.

    Having personally debated Micah in the past, I can tell you that about the only thing that is effective with him, and others like him, is one-on-one rebuttal to his self-hate inspired drivel. Groups like the American Family Association thrive in semi-anonymous online campaigns and preaching to the choir environments, but they don’t fare so well when confronted face to face with reasonable opposition. Calling them on their BS won’t change their minds, but it will make them quickly scurry for the next line of attack. And the next, and the next. The overall effect is to show them for what they are – outlandish and unreasonable.

    If you want to see him being challenged, check this out:

  6. I’m not fan of Mr. Clark, not do I oppose extending benefits to domestic partners. During such discussions, I think it is worth mentioning, there is another solution to this… that is universal health care for all.

  7. Eric, for most workplaces (including mine) they usually spell out what the requirements are to meet domestic partnership status, and that language is pretty boilerplate by now across big corporations. It wouldn’t be hard for the city-council to emulate those requirements.

  8. Eric; I understand what you are saying. Live-in situations are too “iffy” and many are temporary with changing partners and nothing binding the relationship. I am 100% FOR same-sex marriage which will provide so many basic rights to them. Who’s to say that two friends living as roommates would not claim it is a committed relationship and take advantage of the benefits that are supposed to be for a loving, committed couple in a marital-type setting? Add in any children to be covered by “family plan” insurance and the costs to companies escalates. I believe these extended benefits would detract from concentraion on legalizing same-sex marriage. Dishonesty is rampant at all levels these days; giving away benefits to unmarried couples is an easy and unprovable situation to abuse.

  9. I am married to an Asian Indian. I am considered ‘white’. Not even 50 yrs ago, I would not have been able to marry him. Someone please tell me how my marriage is any different than another couple’s marriage now that that discrimination was outlawed?

  10. “ away benefits to unmarried couples is an easy and unprovable situation to abuse….”

    Seriously? Abuse, as in: any more-so than legally-married couple do now?


    Patrick is right: we beat them one on one. When we have the chance. And we all win when we Live Out Loud: as parents, children, siblings, worker,s retired folks, church-goers and atheists…we’re just like our opponents, except we have open minds. Logic and common sense are on our side, even tho it seems otherwise at times.

    Mary Elise should be Queen for a Day. Her answer is perfect.

    As for Mr. Clark and his ilk, Sheila…as you know, we tackle them on a regular basis. You can tell they’re losing ground by the speed with which they get right to genital warts and STDs. I chuckle every time I think of the look on your face in S. Bend when the woman went to the podium and started waxing poetic about such drivel.

    Reminds me of the old prayer….”Dear Lord, cripple my enemies, so I’ll know them by their limp.”

    We win the bigger battle the same way you eat an elephant: one bite at a time. HROs, DP benefits, Nix HJR6, bring it on, Eric, Micah, et al. Your days are numbered–and you know it.

  11. Recognizing same-sex marriage would take care of the problem and universal health care would do so as well, but neither are going to happen in Indiana anytime soon. This proposal can happen now.

    Worried about cheating and how it would work? These benefits have been provided by corporations and municipalities for at least a couple of decades. I think the kinks have been worked out by now.

    Full disclosure – I did state my support for this during my campaign for Council against Ryan Vaughn. Had I won, I would have co-sponsored this proposal. I believe this is the right thing for the city to do.

  12. I understand where the domestic partner/same-sex marriage thing rubs together, I do. However, I know a gay couple or two that have adopted children (Indiana is one of a few states that allow gays to adopt) and I would be curious to see, legally speaking, how the adoption groups define a couple in a steady relationship.

    My understanding is it’s a different process for single parents adopting than it is couples, so obviously a benefit has been extended on the child-rearing front. I’m not really keen on a lot of civil laws, but I wouldn’t think this would be too much of a stretch…

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