The “dangerous” gay community

From today’s Indianapolis Star:

But lawmakers and judges are a different matter. Legislators have been carrying guns into the Capitol for years, exercising what they say is their Second Amendment right to bear arms. Twenty-five of Indiana’s 150 senators and representatives had permits to carry concealed weapons in 2003, according to a study published by The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne.
Sen. Brent Waltz is among the elected officials licensed to carry a sidearm under his coat. He supports the security measures and does not plan to bring his gun to the office after the new steps are implemented.
“I’d probably check it at the door,” Waltz said. “I think it is not a bad thing to have fewer firearms in the Capitol.”
Waltz, R-Greenwood, said he is not worried about his safety inside the Statehouse, but his trip to and from the building sometimes makes him a little nervous.
Lawmakers, Waltz said, vote on emotionally charged issues — such as proposals to ban gay marriage or abortion — and occasionally receive death threats from those who disagree with their positions.
“Certainly there’s a level of risk anyone involved in public life takes,” Waltz said. “It’s important for government to try to reduce those risks as much as possible.”

I sent this email to Senator Brent Waltz’ office:
Since you brought up gay marriage as one of the “emotionally charged issues” that must mean you’ve received a death threat from someone in the gay community, right?
I’ll be giving your office a call in the next few days to get more information on the death threat you received. I write for an online paper, and I’m going to do a story on this. I’d like to talk to Senator Waltz, and with any police that investigated the threat to find out more about where it came from and what follow up occurred.

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Indiana Lobbying Reform Bill dies

Gary at Advance Indiana has an excellent post on the lobbying reform bill that just died in Indiana’s legislature.
Indiana has a serious loophole in it’s lobbying laws that allow what amounts to corruption on the part of many lobbyists, including right-wing homophobe Eric Miller. Check out Gary’s article to get up to speed on the problem.

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Indiana Bill Watch

If you’re at all curious about the Indiana State Legislature, you may find the Bill Watch section of the state’s website interesting. It posts text of the bills that are currently being considered in the State legislature. You can also search for particular bills if you know the number if them, and do keyword searches. (For fun, try searching on the word “sex”.)

This is how NUVO Newsweekly reporters discovered Pat Miller’s strange, Orwellian bill about unauthorized reproduction. Back in the olden days, when I did some lobbying in the state legislature, you had to go to a room in the Statehouse and look this kind of stuff up, and it was tedious and time-consuming. But it was important to do it, because legislators would hide a lot of anti-gay shit in amendments and bills that were only semi-related, and if you weren’t aware of it, there were a lot of really crappy laws created.

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We Kissed Inside The Statehouse

Photo Set: 2005 Rally Against SJR-7

We had a wonderful, successful rally at the Indiana Statehouse yesterday! Hundreds of people showed up with extraordinary signs to protest the SJR7 legislation. We were getting people’s contact information, and of the people who agreed to sign up, we got 757 contact addresses. That was about 3/4ths of the crowd, so we had about 1,000 people attending.

What I was really impressed with was not just the fact that I saw tons of people I knew (some of whom I’d never imagine going to a political rally) but I saw tons of people I’ve never seen before in my life. That’s really amazing, because when you’ve been out in the gay community as long as I have, you tend to think it’s really small and that everyone knows everyone else. It takes something like this to make me realize that we have a HUGE gay community in Indiana.

There were excellent speakers, and according to some of the people who lobby regularly, we made a great impression on some of the legislators. Nobody expected the size of crowd we had. At the end of the rally we went inside to lobby, and ran into Eric Miller’s Advance America bigots as they were leaving. Most of Miller’s crowd were home-schooled kids and christian school kids who get extra credit for being bussed into Miller’s rally.

So we chanted at them and basically screwed up the end of their rally. Stephanie and I were by the doors, and a group of bigots who were leaving started to bunch up to trap us inside, chanting and trying to intimidate us. So we kissed in front of them and freaked them out. It was GREAT! They RAN outside to get away from us. A reporter from the IU School Paper snapped our photo while we were kissing, and then interviewed us, so we’re likely to end up in the IU paper. It was really exciting.

UPDATE: Stephanie and I were quoted in the IU paper but they didn’t include our picture.

Indiana Daily News

Other’s Pictures from the Rally

Scott Barrett’s Photos
Marti Abernathy’s Photos
Scott Barnes’ Photos
Wilson’s Photos

Media Coverage of the Rally

Check out this picture of an anti-gay bigot attempting to punch one of the people from our rally:

South Bend Tribune
Another Story of threatened violence from the bigots from a person at our rally: “The Advance America people were filing out —a small group of 5 or 6 young men approached me holding our big IE sign and one said, ‘Don’t you wish we had some torches?!’ The others laughed and they continued on down to the sidewalk.”

NUVO Story: “God hates gays”
Indy Star
The IndyChannel (RTV6)
WXIN – Channel 59 (Indianapolis)
WIBC/Network Indiana
Associated Press
Courier-Journal (Louisville)
Indianapolis Star (Dan Carpenter column) “Inside the anti-gay crusade”
Journal Gazette (Fort Wayne)
Courier & Press (Evansville)
Northwest Indiana Times

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