Catholic Archbishop Doesn’t Know Difference Between Sex and Rape

In commenting on Italy’s current proposed same-sex civil unions bill, Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco revealed that he doesn’t understand the difference between sex and rape:

“Why say ‘no’ to forms of legally recognised co-habitation which create alternatives to the family? Why say ‘no’ to incest?” he said at a meeting of Church workers, according to a report in La Repubblica daily.

“Why say ‘no’ to the pedophile party in Holland?” he said.

I’ve said this many times, – it’s scary how many religious and conservative people don’t understand that bestiality, pedophilia, and in most cases incest are illegal because they are forms of rape, wherein one party can’t give informed consent to the act. Makes me want to keep my family members and pets as far away as possible from Republicans and Catholic clergy.

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Indiana Newspapers Against SJR-7

I was in the middle of putting this post together when Bilerico beat me to it… Newspapers that have come out against the SJR-7 marriage discrimination amendment legislation:

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House committee tables SJR-7 vote

According to Bil from Bilerico:

The House Rules and Legislative Affairs committee listened to three hours of testimony regarding SJR-7, the proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. After several members of the committee commented that they’d like more time to review the testimony before voting on the matter, Chair Scott Pelath closed the hearing without holding a vote.

I’m sincerely hoping this is a good thing… I’m also hoping that if/when it does come to a vote, I can be there. I wasn’t able to take off work today because of all the stuff I have left to do after SXSW.

UPDATE: More on the committee meeting and the amendment from the Star.

UPDATE: The South Bend Tribune makes it sound much more like the amendment may die in committee.

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Cummins plans to testify against proposed ban

From the Indianapolis Star:

No private employers testified against a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage when it was before the Senate, but that will change when discussion begins today in the House.
Cummins Inc. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Tim Solso has sent a letter to House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, encouraging him to oppose the amendment.

In his letter, Solso told Bauer that that the amendment would hurt Cummins’ ability to attract the best employees.

“Anything that makes Indiana a less inclusive and less welcoming place for our current and future employees is bad for our business — and bad for the state,” Solso wrote.
The diesel-engine maker was one of the first major employers in the state to offer domestic-partner benefits. Solso told Bauer the amendment’s vague language could affect his company’s ability to continue to offer the benefits.

Mark Land, a spokesman for Cummins, said a human resources representative will testify against the proposed amendment before the House Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee this morning.

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Tony Dungy against same-sex marriage

According to the Indianapolis Star:

Colts coach Tony Dungy said he knows some people would prefer him to steer clear of the gay marriage debate, but he used a speech Tuesday night to clearly stake out his position.

Dungy told more than 700 people at the Indiana Family Institute’s banquet that he agrees with that organization’s position supporting a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

“I appreciate the stance they’re taking, and I embrace that stance,” Dungy said.

Dungy’s comments came in the final three minutes of a wide-ranging, 20-minute speech that recounted stories from the Colts’ Super Bowl run, related his interest in prison ministry and described how he wondered whether his firing in Tampa was God’s signal for him to leave football and enter ministry. He also talked about his efforts to make the Colts more family-friendly by encouraging players to bring their kids to practice.

Local and national gay-rights organizations had criticized Dungy for accepting the invitation to appear at the banquet. The institute, affiliated with Focus on the Family, has been one of the leading supporters of the marriage amendment.

“IFI is saying what the Lord says,” Dungy said. “You can take that and make your decision on which way you want to be. I’m on the Lord’s side.”

The coach said his comments shouldn’t be taken as gay bashing, but rather his views on the matter as he sees them from a perspective of faith.

“We’re not anti- anything else. We’re not trying to downgrade anyone else. But we’re trying to promote the family — family values the Lord’s way,” Dungy said.

Previous IFI banquets had drawn at most 440 guests, according to organizers. But the appearance of the Super Bowl-winning coach to receive the institute’s “Friend of the Family” award set a record.

Sorry, Tony – this is gay bashing. Basically the textbook definition of it. And even if you’re are claiming to only be concerned with the marriage issue – Indiana Family Institute is not just concerned with that. They say they are, but they have written and supported legislation in the past that went far beyond concerns about marriage. IFI was responsible for a draft of state legislation proposing to quarantine gay men and lesbians in camps to ‘protect against HIV and AIDS’ in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Note, they weren’t talking about rounding up just people who had AIDS (although that legislation DID get passed) – they wanted to pull in all groups they considered ‘at risk’ and they felt all gay men and lesbians fit that category. Yeah… logic escaped them. This draft of the bill was quickly suppressed, but not before a copy of it made its way to the gay community by alarmed folks who read it.

This is the group that Tony Dungy is raising money for.

No Colts
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SJR-7 Assigned to Committee

House Joint Resolution 15 (HJR-15), the legislation formerly known as SJR-7 and the marriage discrimination amendment, has been assigned to committee in the house. It’s been placed in the House Rule and Legislative Procedures Committee.

Please contact the members of this committee (information below) to oppose this legislation – for Democrats, remind them that putting this on the ballot in 2008 will kill the Democratic lead in the statehouse, among other things, and that the second line of the amendment will affect all unmarried Hoosiers. Ask them to change the ambiguous and broad wording.

Chair: Representative Scott Pelath (D)

Vice Chair: Representative Russ Stilwell (D)

Rep. Terri J. Austin (D)

Rep. Earl Harris (D)

Rep. Bob Kuzman (D)

Rep. Dennie Oxley (D)

Re. Matt Whetstone (R)

Rep. Randy Borror (R)

Ralph Foley (R)

Rep. P. Eric Turner (R)

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SJR-7 and Eric Miller

Due to supervising all the work on my old house over the past few weeks, and the work on our current home (which is still ongoing. Sigh.), and a busy time at work, and preparation to go to SXSW, I’m guilty of quite a few “drive-by” posts: where I mention important things without enough context (or appropriate editing, grammar, spelling, etc.) or worse yet, fail to mention important things. Here’s a bit of a round-up of some Important issues I’ve been neglecting…

SJR-7 – the Marriage Discrimination Bill: got renamed for it’s entrance on the House side of the legislature: it’s now called House Joint Resolution 15 (HJR 15). It had it’s first reading, and will be assigned to a committee sometime soon – probably this week.

Now is an important time to contact your legislators – and to urge your friends and family to do so. Evangelical “Christian” Eric Miller has thousands of people writing to legislators in support of this bill, which will take away rights for all unmarried couples, not just gay ones.

On a side note – While Laura McPhee has written an excellent, must-read article for Nuvo on the very dangerous Eric Miller and how he’s pursuing taking away not just my rights but yours too on a whole host of issues, she fails to give credit to what is obviously one of her key sources on the issue – Gary Welsh from Advance Indiana, who’s published much of this information previously. We know how I feel about not citing sources. Tut, tut!

The Bias Crimes Bill (HB 1459) – got stalled because Jackie Walorski (R-Lakeville) inserted an amendment into the bill to make it a hate crime to have an abortion. Yeah. It wasn’t helped by the fact that Eric Miller got thousands to people to send in letters protesting it. Yes, that makes no sense if you know what the bill actually does – protects every single Hoosier from crime based on a perceived bias – but Miller was able to lie to his followers about the bill, claiming it gave special protection “homosexuals and cross-dressers.” Aside from the fact that this isn’t true, isn’t it a bit odd that Miller and his ilk are so emphatic/public about defending beating up gay and transgendered people? Makes me wonder what they do in their free time.

There are quite a few other things I missed writing about – Matthew Shepard’s mom came to town to speak at the University of Indianapolis on Tuesday night. I had the opportunity to go, but didn’t have time to attend. I’d really like to have seen her speak.

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University Domestic Partnership Benefits at Risk

In a neat bit of investigative work, Bil Browning discovered that SJR-7 author Brandt Hershman’s statements about the bill not affecting domestic partnership benefits for Purdue and Indiana University faculty members is not only false, but that he wrote the bill specifically to target those rights.

Bill uncovered legislation by Hershman to repeal those rights that had been killed several ago in the legislature – exposing Hershmans’s true intent. Read more about that here…

Now this won’t just mean that the faculty members who enjoy domestic partnership benefits will lose them if SJR-7 passes. It will mean that Purdue, IU, Ball State and other universities won’t be able to attract quality faculty members in the future, which will have a devastating effect on the quality of education in Indiana. The state of Wisconsin can testify to that:

This summer, Wisconsin lost a good deal of its edge in the nanotech revolution thanks to the Legislature’s refusal to provide domestic partner benefits to university employees. That refusal, plus the Legislature’s push to ban gay marriage, has prompted a leading nanotech researcher, Robert Carpick, an associate engineering physics professor, to leave the University of Wisconsin-Madison for a job at the University of Pennsylvania.

And if that, along with Michigan’s recent repeal of benefits for university employees doesn’t properly scare the crap out of Purdue and Indiana University, what’s going on in Kentucky right now should. A bill to strip universities of those rights in that state is moving through their state legislature, with some pretty serious affects:

Last year, during the debate over bills designed to improve Kentucky’s lagging math and science scores, it came up that the higher educational institutions in the state of Kentucky graduated only one qualified physics teacher last year. One.

Kentucky’s ability to attract qualified faculty to their sagging universities will die off as well, and the already poor quality of education that can’t even produce physics teachers now will deteriorate further.

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SJR-7 Passes Senate

The bill to amend the Indiana Constitution to ban Marriage Equality passed the Senate today. As Gary Welsh notes on Advance Indiana, the right-wing hate battalion have managed to achieve something that even the KKK weren’t able to do when they held total control of state government – disenfranchise an entire unfavored minority group.

Here are the brave handful of Senators who voted against the SJR-7.

  • Anita Bowser (D-Michigan City)
  • Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis)
  • John Broden (D-South Bend)
  • Sue Errington (D-Muncie)
  • Glenn Howard (D-Indianapolis)
  • Tim Lanane (D-Anderson)
  • Earline Rogers (D-Gary)
  • Vi Simpson (D-Bloomington)
  • Connie Sipes (D-New Albany)
  • Karen Tallian (D-Portage)

The bill will now go to committee in the House, probably sometime this week. If you haven’t already contacted your state legislators to tell them to stop them amendment, please, please do so. Heck, contact them even if you already have. has a handy form that lets you do so.

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SJR-7 Passes Indiana Senate

The controversial, discriminatory Senate Joint Resolution 7 – to amend the Indiana Constitution to bar equal marriage rights – had a second reading in the Senate today, and was passed by the Senate, much to the State’s disgrace.

Apparently an amendment to remove the highly ambigous second paragraph of the bill was voted down, even though a similar paragraph in Michigan’s law recently caused domestic partner benefits to be struck down in that state.

The bill will now go to a House committee to be heard.

You can contact your legislators to tell them not to pass this law. Visit and enter your zip code. Their handy form will allow you to send a message quickly and easily.

Continue ReadingSJR-7 Passes Indiana Senate