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.