Our crazy statehouse: Gay marriage

But wait! Isn’t gay marriage already illegal in Indiana?

Why, yes, it is.

However, a statute apparently isn’t good enough for most legislators (70 of them in the House, in fact). We wouldn’t want some bleeding-heart liberal judge to come along and stir up trouble.

Why settle for a discriminatory law when you can imbed hate into the cornerstone of the state’s very existence?

This debate reminds me a lot of what’s happening in Iowa, my native state. After the Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled that restrictions on gay marriage violated the state constitution, lawmakers are attempting to overrule this decision with an amendment in the same way as the Indiana General Assembly.

In a passionate speech that has received more than 1.6 million views on YouTube, Zach Wahls, a University of Iowa student whose parents are lesbians, spoke against the amendment in front of a legislative committee saying, “You are voting for the first time in the history of our state to codify discrimination into our constitution.”  

Despite passionate debate from both sides and polls showing that Iowans place gay marriage as a low legislative priority, the resolution easily passed the Iowa House. However, the Iowa Senate, whose leader has stated that he will not allow debate on the resolution, will likely block these efforts (for this year, anyway).

Focusing back on Indiana: Don’t our elected officials have other things to worry about? I find it hard to fathom why they are spending precious time on something that will have zero effect on how marriage is conducted in Indiana.

And since this is an amendment, it will have to be passed again by the Assembly in either 2013 or 2014, meaning even more time will be wasted; only then can it be sent to Indiana voters.

All right, Indiana politicians, we get the fact that you don’t want gays to marry. Can we move on now? You’d think Brian Bosma, the speaker of the house, got his car jacked by Elton John or something.

Ultimately, the question will likely be posed to our state’s voting populace at some point: Do we want to cast our state as one where discrimination is so embraced that it is in our constitution?

Unfortunately, I’m afraid the answer will be a resounding yes.

E-mail: biglehar@indiana.edu

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