I got a fundraising letter from a local gay organization today (quoted below the jump line) in my inbox today… the kind that drives me absolutely bananas. I’ve written it on my site and on the gayindy.org mailing list dozens of times, and I’ll say it again: this is not enough information for me to give you money.
Specifically the sentence that caused my knee-jerk reaction of anger was this: “By taking swift action and working in conjunction with civil rights, child protection, and family rights organizations, Indiana Equality forced Senator Miller to withdraw her bill from consideration.”
How delightfully ambiguous, and yet credit-seeking at the same time.
Define “swift action” please.
Now, I witnessed several organizations take swift action on the Pat Miller issue: Rock Indiana sent out emails and told people how to call, several women’s rights organizations did the same, Nuvo Newsweekly wrote articles, numerous bloggers posted information (including me; maybe I should ask for money). I don’t recall hearing a peep from IE about it. I also don’t notice any of the people I did see take action hitting me up for cash at Christmas time.
Maybe they did something behind the scenes? Did they call people? Lobby on the issue (using the same paid lobbyist that, coincidentally also works for other “civil rights, child protection, and family rights organizations”)?
Whatever they actually did, they need to tell me about it, because I know better than to take e-mails like this at face value.
I volunteered for a little organization a few years back called Justice, Inc., that asked me to write fundraising newsletters just like this, when they didn’t actually have the lobbyist they claimed to have, or the influence with political leaders or the media, and they never actually took action on anything. They asked me to write delightfully ambiguous prose like this for them, and I finally quit because I felt awful about doing it, because I knew it was lies. So I know how to read between the lines.
All I’m asking is to be plain and specific about what the “swift action” was and who took it.
In September of this year, State Senator Pat Miller proposed a bill that would have criminalized artificial insemination for unmarried women in Indiana. The purpose of this proposal was to deny all members of the LGBT community the fundamental right to have children. By taking swift action and working in conjunction with civil rights, child protection, and family rights organizations, Indiana Equality forced Senator Miller to withdraw her bill from consideration.
This does not mean the idea is dead. We expect Senator Miller will raise the specter of this legislation by attaching it as an amendment on one of the many bills that pass through her committee during the 2006 legislative session. We need to be ready for her.
Indiana has had to wrestle with other bad legislation as well.
• Both the Indiana House and Senate passed a constitutional amendment (SJR-7) that bans not only same-sex civil marriage, but also any “legal incident of marriage” for unmarried couples.
• Legislation was introduced last session that would have forbidden gays and lesbians from fostering or adopting children. Another bill was introduced that would have banned public universities in the state of Indiana from offering domestic partner benefits. Indiana Equality was successful in defeating these bills in committee.
SJR-7 has to pass through another separately elected general assembly unchanged before it can go to a public referendum. We may have lost the first round of the marriage amendment, but Hoosier families can still win the fight.
We can win this battle together.
Your generous donation to Indiana Equality, the state-wide coalition focused on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights, will make the difference by allowing us to lobby, organize, educate, and hire a professional campaign director and related staff.
Your contribution of $50 can make a difference and help us to protect Hoosier families. Please show your support for Indiana Equality today.
You are the strength and the vision of Indiana Equality – which is why we’re turning to you. Thank you for helping to protect the thousands of families who are counting on your support.