How Sweet It Is….

Yesterday, the Indiana State Senate voted for the version of HJR 3 that previously passed the House–a version without the legally ambiguous second sentence.

Because a constitutional amendment must pass two consecutive legislative sessions with identical language, the vote will keep the measure off the 2014 ballot. If the single-sentence version passes the next legislature, that version will go on the 2016 ballot.

If I were a betting woman (and I’m not, because I’m wrong about nearly everything), I’d wager we’ve seen the last of this retrograde effort to let “the gays” know that they just aren’t worthy of that pesky “equal protection of the laws” thing. By 2016, even the “God told me my marriage will be worthless if you get to have one too” folks will recognize that this battle is over. 

If I may, I’d like to share a few reflections on the campaign that has now (mercifully) ended:

  • Megan Robertson is awesome. The campaign she directed was brilliant, bipartisan and virtually flawless. (It’s almost enough to make me forgive her for Greg Ballard.) We will hear more from and about this young woman.
  • The GLBT community demonstrated its maturity and civility. When I first became involved in working on gay rights issues, some twenty years ago, it could be very frustrating. There were factions and “hissy fits” and unhelpful public behaviors. Those behaviors were nowhere to be seen this time around. The community was unified, dignified and focused, laser-like, on what needed to be done. GLBT folks shared their stories, made their case, and stood up for their rights as citizens, as taxpayers and as Americans.
  • The so-called “allies”–PFLAG moms and dads, pastors of welcoming churches, business leaders, bloggers and editorial writers, and hundreds of Hoosiers who just care about fundamental fairness and decency–shook off their usual apathy and made their opinions known. They swarmed the Statehouse, they wrote letters to the editor, they volunteered at phone banks, and they wrote checks.

And the democratic process worked the way it is supposed to.

In a bright-red state not noted for progressive policies, in a Statehouse dominated by Republicans accustomed to doing the will of their rabidly conservative base, the good guys actually won.

As my husband likes to say, campaigns matter.

I’ll drink to that.


  1. Sheila: it was an amazing effort….and you’ve been helpful too. Grateful for all you’ve done–including the “traveling legal expert” work in SBend. Bit by bit we’re winning this battle. FWIW, this is likely the last defensive effort of its kind anywhere in the nation. Our national sponsors understood that significance.

  2. Let us not forget the veteran who was removed during a committee meeting for giving the bill a “thumbs down”. Still, LGBT’s struggle with general acceptance in many areas and are still denied some human and civil rights. If no one believes the state of Indiana is living in the last century, just read our new state slogan, “Honest To Goodness”. Right out of “Leave It To Beaver” era. Our “leaders” continue to embarrass us with their decisions. Goodness gracious; I hope we can make a difference come the November elections!

  3. Thanks to all the wonderful folks who worked so hard on this STATE WIDE Effort. Thanks to the business folks who probably carried the final PUSH to keep the right people sitting on their hands when required. It is hard to recruit the best and the brightest to a hateful retrograde state. THANKS Business Leaders !!!

  4. I’m not so sure it’s over…. yesterday was just the second reading and the actual senate vote is on Monday.
    And I still expect there to be legal wrangling over whether the “first sentence only” amendment can still go to referendum because that part was passed by two legislatures. I’m not saying I agree with this, in the long run it will likely fail, but I do think that someone will make a play for it, whether as a principled stand or a publicity stunt.
    It ain’t over till it’s over.

  5. A battle may have been won, but the War is hardly over. The Battle of Gettysburg or Vicksburg was not the end of the Civil War. The War in this case will be won when same sex marriages and same sex Civil Unions are allowed. The Bible Thumpers will continue to fight back.

  6. The bill has not been voted on by the Senate . HJR3 must be passed by both House and Senate for it to continue towards a ballot issue. The Senate vote is huge.. IF they vote yes- then HJR3 will need to be passed -without amendments- by a 2nd Assembly. (which we all agree would be 2016).
    If the Senate votes HJR3 down.. it is dead and over. It cannot be a ballot issue ever.
    I don’t get the ‘we won” battle cry which is reminiscent of Mission Accomplished.
    And with ZPensma behind the scene, anythings is possible.
    Bu the bill is not dead, despite some of the better media reports to the contrary.

  7. I hope you’re right, Sheila but I don’t play the ashes of the John Birch Society short.. This bill originated through ALEC and they won’t let it die. Indiana is VERY important to ALEC because, although not being a swing state, it is a northern state. It is unique in it’s peoples and politics, but not in it’s religion. And it is religion that drives these idiotic laws with ALEC money. A bad combination, indeed! Which reminds me of that store-bought black man testifying for the bill.. Shades of Uncle Clarence Thomas; they will always be with us!

  8. Plus: Delph and all his yellin’ ’bout this same sex problem. My daddy always told me that it’s the hit dog that hollers!

  9. This is another violation of the separation of church and state. Basing bills on Bible verses to deprive people of human and civil rights has no legal basis. This is covered in the Constitution and the Amendments and nothing in these vital documents is based on any religion….but you have heard this before and thinking people understand it. Maybe those on the far-far right will eventually fall off the edge of the world they believe to be flat.

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