marriage discrimination attached to Gov’s Property Tax Bill
Indiana Republican Foul play at work – because looked like SJR-7 the marriage discrimination bill that has failed to pass the Indiana House the last two years, might again fail, Representative Eric Turner, ranking Republican on the House Rules and Legislative Policy Committee, filed a amendment to House Joint Resolution No. 1 (HJR1) a proposed constitutional amendment concerning property taxes.
It’s expected that the Governor’s proposed property tax reform bill, a high-profile piece of legislation, will receive attention and scrutiny. Any threat to it or opposition from Democrats will surely make headlines. However, it’s worth noting that the amendment being discussed is unrelated to property taxes, but it’s being attached to the bill since it’s expected to be approved. This is relevant to homeowners looking for south dallas homes for sale, who may want to keep an eye on any developments in property tax reform.
Don Sherfick of Indiana Equality seems to think that the bill with get a full reading by the House as a result, where Gary Welsh thinks that it will effectively kill the property tax bill, laying the blame for it at the door of House Democrats.
Indiana Equality has a handy lookup form to look up your representatives to give them a call to protest this issue.
Video from the Rally
Video of the Rally and Protest outside House Speaker Pat Bauer’s office.
Updated with a better copy of the video…
The young man you see in the foreground here on the left is the fellow that Mark St. John grabbed by the arm and dragged out of the protest to argue about why the Democrats went into caucus during the rally.
500 attend Rally, House Democrats Hide from Constitutents
About 500 people attended the Rally in the Indiana Statehouse, organized by Indiana Equality to address SJR-7, the amendment to ban same-sex marriage, and to support the hate crimes bill, which will include sexual orientation and gender identity. There were several speakers, including Candace Gingrich, lgbt civil rights activist and sister of Newt Gingrich.
See all 52 of my photos of the Rally on Flickr…
Unfortunately, House Democrats were "in caucus" today, and were "unable" to meet with their constituents to talk about SJR-7, so a group of people, including Indiana Action Network members, IYG Youth and IU Students went to protest outside House Speaker Bauer’s office — chanting "Pat, Pat, come out and talk."
What happened next? Indiana Equality Lobbyist Mark St. John got angry at the attention being paid to House Speaker Bauer – gee, I wonder why? Maybe you can find the answer in this post on Advance Indiana – and forcefully grabbed Bil Browning of Indiana Action Network – with the cameras rolling.
I’m processing the video of WRTV’s coverage and uploading it to YouTube…
I happened to be standing right there (you can see me in the video), so I heard what St. John said — he fired Bil from his job at Lambda Consulting because Bil “betrayed his trust” in not getting permission for the impromptu protest at Bauer’s office. A while later, after he calmed down, he said that wasn’t going to happen, but I’m not sure what the repercussions will be in the future.
Incidentally, I also saw St. John grab and physically drag by the arm another protester – one of the IYG youth, I believe – away from the protest to have a heated debated about why the Democrats were in caucus – St. John was claiming that it had nothing to do with the Rally or SJR-7. I’m not sure I believe St. John’s claims about why the “caucus” happened. I do know that Representative Orentlicher, who was at the rally and at the impromptu protest after, was actively trying to get Bauer to come out and speak to the protesters.
In all, I hope the day was an effective event, but the fact that people were unable to lobby their Representatives was a pretty striking blow to the cause. The likelihood that all of the people signed up will be able to have face-to-face meetings with elected officials at other times in the future is pretty slim – many people were from out of town, or happened to have this day off work due to the President’s Day holiday. Face-to-face meetings are far more effective than phone calls and emails.
Rally at the Indiana Statehouse to Oppose SJR-7
A while back, I wrote about SJR-7, the bill to amend the Indiana constitution to eliminate equal marriage rights for same-sex couples, and I urged people to contact the legislators responsible for this atrocious piece of legislation.
Well, there’s more you can do.
Indiana Equality is organizing a rally at the State House to oppose this amendment, and to support two other pieces of legislation that help protect lgbt people – a hate crimes bill that covers sexual orientation and gender identity, and an anti-discrimination bill, both of which are being introduced this legislative session.
The rally — called the “Read the Fine Print” — will feature Candace Gingrich, sister of Former Speaker of the US House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.
WHAT: “Read the Fine Print!” Rally at the Statehouse
WHEN: Monday, February 19, 2007 from 1:00 pm — 2:30 pm
WHERE: Indiana Statehouse, North Atrium, 200 W. Washington
(Enter off Ohio Street)
Enter the Statehouse using the Ohio Street entrance. Please allow extra time, as you may have to go through security. Also be aware that street parking may be hard to find. The Circle Center Mall garage is only a few blocks away and relatively inexpensive.
Note that this is on President’s Day – a day when many people already have off work — so you can attend this rally. I’ll be there. You will have the opportunity to meet with your legislators at some time during or after the rally to speak your mind if you like (see information on training below.)
You can RSVP that you will be attending at this Indiana Equality link.
You can get training to lobby your legislator prior to the rally, in the morning on the same day. Indiana Equality, Human Rights Campaign, and Stop The Amendment will be providing a two-hour crash course in techniques for constituents to successfully communicate with and educate their State legislators.
WHAT: Lobbying Your Legislator 101
WHEN: Monday, February 19th, 2007 from 9:30am – 11:30am
WHERE: Christ Church Cathedral, 125 Monument Circle
COST: $5 (includes training, materials, and continental
Reserve your spot in lobbying training.
Topics of this session will include:
Do’s and Don’ts when talking to legislators
The “Marriage” Amendment
- Process of amending Indiana?s Constitution
- Background on the Amendment
- Facts, talking points, and likely objections
Hate Crimes Legislation
- How a bill becomes law
- Background on Hate Crimes legislation
- Facts, talking points, and likely objections
Street parking may be hard to find. The Circle Center Mall garage is only a few blocks away and relatively inexpensive.
Photos of the Rally at the Statehouse
Marti has photos of yesterday’s Rally at the statehouse, [link deprecated: http://statehouse.transadvocate.com/] from beginning to end.
There’s apparently some question of the number of attendees.
Fortunately, I know how to count, so I think we can solve the mystery.
Statehouse Rally for Equal Marriage Rights – March 8
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 Tuesday, 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. Miller is a supporter of amending the Indiana constitution to prevent equal marriage rights for same-sex couples.
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. In the House of Representatives, SJR 7 is expected to be assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, which will conduct a hearing on the resolution in mid-March. A proposed constitutional amendment must be passed by two separately-elected legislatures, and then approved by voters in a state-wide referendum. The earliest such a vote could take place is November 2008.
Senators who voted no on SJR 7 include:
Anita Bowser (D-Michigan City)
Billie Breaux (D-Indianapolis)
John Broden (D-South Bend)
Glenn Howard (D-Indianapolis)
Tim Lanane (D-Anderson)
Earline Rogers (D-Gary)
Vi Simpson (D-Bloomington)
Sam Smith (D-East Chicago)
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 speaking or making an appearance.
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 [link deprecated http://www.stopthebigots.org] Stopthebigots.org.
Rally organizer Pepper Partin explains the motivation for the rally: “We are being persecuted because of our sexual orientation, and sexual orientation is no more of a choice than our height or our eye color or anything else that is part of our pre-determined make-up. So we must make sure people understand that we are not a subculture and this is not a lifestyle, and that is a big reason we must stop people like Eric Miller and his organization from making people think we are nature’s mistakes deserving of only table scraps beneath the table of equality. Our constitution is for everyone – not just for those who feel they are superior in some sense.”
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.