I will be attending this rally on March 8th, and I’m inviting you all to join me. I will be one of the crowd-control folks in a lovely orange vest. If you want to get together for a sign-making party, please let me know; this event is only a few short days away.
In response to the State Legislature’s current bill (SJR 7) seeking to limit equal marriage rights for same-sex couples by amending the constitution, gay rights advocates and their friends and families are planning a Rally/Silent protest at the east steps of the Indiana Statehouse on March 8 at 11 a.m. to protest this piece of legislation and several others that are currently under consideration. Organizers are expecting over 1,000 supporters to attend the rally.
This rally will also serve as a counter rally to the one taking place on the west side of the statehouse, held by the right-wing organization Advance America, founded by former political candidate and longtime lobbyist Eric Miller.
A number of bills have been introduced into into the Indiana State Legislature this season that will have an effect on the lives of gay and lesbian citizens of Indiana. Here is a synopsis of three of them:
SJR 7 – EQUAL MARRIAGE RIGHTS: This bill seeks to amend the Indiana constitution to limit the possibility of marriage to a definition of one man and one woman, and additionally seeks to prevent any legal arrangements between same-sex couples that are intended to provide the same protections as marriage.
SJR 585 – ADOPTION/FOSTERING: This bill will prohibit gay people from being foster parents and adopting.
SJR 541 – DOMESTIC PARTNER BENEFITS: This bill will limit eligibility under a state university health plan to an employee of the university and to the spouse and dependant children of the employee.
The first legislation, SJR 7 has already passed in the senate and will move on to the house in this legislative session. If it passes the house (it is expected to) it will need to be passed again in a future legislative session, and with then be placed on a ballot referendum for Hoosiers to vote on.
Additional Rally Information
Organizers describe the rally as a silent protest intended to emphasize the attempts by the religious right to silence the gay and lesbian community. They also ask attendees to remember that they want no noise, rude behavior or disorderly conduct, and that rally supporters are asked to stay off the Statehouse grass, to avoid blocking entrances to the Statehouse and foot traffic on the sidewalks. 15 to 20 organizers of the event will be on hand to provide crowd control and to help attendees maintain order.
There will be several speakers, including the possibility of Senators who opposed the legislation.
Attendees of the Rally are encouraged to make signs. Organizers suggestions include: “SJR7 – The Hate Debate” or “SJR7 – Blatant Discrimination” or “Eric Miller -Conservative Approach; Extremist Agenda” or “Hate is Not a Family Value” or “It’s Our Constitution Too”
More information about the rally, including a map of the Statehouse, flyers that can be distributed, and parking information is available at Stopthebigots.org.
Parking for the Rally
Attendees of the rally are urged to carpool to the event due to downtown parking and traffic considerations. Parking at Circle Center Mall may provide the best location.