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.