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Profiles in (lack of) courage

Marriage equality

By Adam Bink

Didn’t get to this yesterday, but you’ve probably all heard the news that after years of staving it off, the Indiana House passed an anti-equality marriage discrimination constitutional amendment. The vote wasn’t surprising as the votes were there, but as native Hoosier Bil Browning reports, the news that the former House Speaker and now Minority Leader Pat Bauer- a longtime ally in beating back the amendment who was given an award by the Indiana ACLU- voted for the bill is stunning. He reports that it was because the Republicans threatened to redistrict him out of existence.

The vote was 70-26, so I’m guessing folks like Bauer thought if it was going to pass overwhelmingly, they might as well not be in the small minority. But as Bil says, it does make you wonder whether he’ll return that award. And where the political courage has gone.

17 Comments Leave a Comment

  • 1. Kathleen  |  February 16, 2011 at 7:10 am

  • 2. Alan E.  |  February 16, 2011 at 7:10 am

    ditto

  • 3. Lesbians Love Boies  |  February 16, 2011 at 7:16 am

    o blah dee

  • 4. Ronnie  |  February 16, 2011 at 7:16 am

    =
    <3…Ronnie

  • 5. Straight for Equalit  |  February 16, 2011 at 7:18 am

  • 6. Rhie  |  February 16, 2011 at 7:19 am

    So either redistricting or being voted out because he's a douchebag. He may as well have done the right thing.

  • 7. jdseattle  |  February 16, 2011 at 7:29 am

    Can we get the Indiana ACLU to take his award away?

    BAD CONGRESSMAN!

  • 8. Sagesse  |  February 16, 2011 at 9:56 am

    Rhie, not so sure Bauer is the bad guy. Ok, he didn't show the courage he might have, but with a vote of 70 to 26, why did the Republicans have to threaten his political future.

    Presumably he ran for office to do some good, and would like to finish what he was elected to do. It's not like they needed his vote. Partisan politics at its most vile. It's not about governing, it's about beating the other guy down.

  • 9. StevenJ  |  February 16, 2011 at 11:10 am

    I was absolutely heartsick today at work and had almost the least-productive day in a long time.

    They used the same tired arguments heard elsewhere. On Monday, I emailed my Indiana House member, but to no avail. She voted to add discrimination to the constitution, even though Indiana law already defines marriage as between one man and one woman. The Democrat she beat in the election would not have voted for this, if his knowing both my partner and I socially meant anything. And fortunately, another Democrat House representative with whom I work voted against this amendment.

    However, the amendment was written by one Republican and one Democrat, which tells me Indiana has a LONG way to go towards equality. This amendment must pass in its identical form in either 2013 or 2014, then it would go to a statewide referendum for consideration.

  • 10. Michael  |  February 16, 2011 at 11:12 am

    Ethical, moral behavior means you do the right thing regardless of the personal cost to you.

    Why are we allowing NOM to hide when these civil union bans are being debated and passed? This is happening in Indiana and Iowa. NOM claims their only goal is to "protect" marriage. If that is true, why are they not speaking out against measures to ban civil unions when the majority of Americans support civil unions for law-abiding, taxpaying, gay families? What is NOM's position on civil unions?!?

  • 11. JonT  |  February 16, 2011 at 11:24 am

    'He reports that it was because the Republicans threatened to redistrict him out of existence.'

    He should have let them try IMO. Is keeping his job more important? I guess it is.

  • 12. Kathleen  |  February 16, 2011 at 11:27 am

    I'm so tired of our "champions" being so afraid of standing up for what is right. I understand it's their career, but what good is a career in politics if it doesn't stand for anything? I guess I'm still a bit of an idealist, even in my elder years.

  • 13. Ronnie  |  February 16, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    This is what courage looks like…

    John Lewis: True champion of 'equality and justice for all' http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/201

    Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Not only did he take part in the Freedom Rides during the fight for Civil Rights & was one of the speakers at the 1963 March on Washington….but he also stands for Equality for ALL

    In a 2003 Boston Globe op-ed, Lewis wrote, "I have fought too hard and too long against discrimination based on race and color not to stand up against discrimination based on sexual orientation. I've heard the reasons for opposing civil marriage for same-sex couples. Cut through the distractions, and they stink of the same fear, hatred, and intolerance I have known in racism and in bigotry."

    "Gay marriage is not a threat to heterosexual marriage. It is time for us to put that argument behind us……You cannot separate the issue of civil rights. It one of those absolute, immutable principle – we got to have not just civil rights for some but civil rights for all of us." ~ Rep. John Lewis during an interview with NPR

    Lewis was one of 65 Democrats to vote against DOMA

    (me) Thank you Rep. John Lewis for your support & like the narrator said as the President bestowed with you this high honor, you have "earned our lasting gratitude for a lifetime dedicated to the pursuit of equality and justice for all."……Congratulations on your well deserved Medal of Freedom….

    Here is a clip of Rep. Lewis from his floor speech on July 11, 1996 & quote…….<3…Ronnie:

    "You cannot tell people they cannot fall in love. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used to say when people talked about interracial marriage and I quote, `Races do not fall in love and get married. Individuals fall in love and get married.' Why do you not want your fellow men and women, your fellow Americans to be happy? Why do you attack them? Why do you want to destroy the love they hold in their hearts? Why do you want to crush their hopes, their dreams, their longings, their aspirations? We are talking about human beings, people like you, people who want to get married, buy a house, and spend their lives with the one they love. They have done no wrong."
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embed

  • 14. Richard A. Jernigan  |  February 16, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    Yes, he definitely needs to return that award. Just goes to show that we cannot count on very many of the politicians out there to have enough backbone to stand up for the right thing, which is full equality for ALL Americans, not just those with a certain set of beliefs!

  • 15. Rhie  |  February 16, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Ugh so tired of the morality by numbers argument. If he was moral he would have done it, regardless of the political cost. Period.

    I understand how politics works. It only works the way it does because fallacies like the above.

  • 16. Ann S.  |  February 17, 2011 at 1:01 am

    I agree, but on the other hand he can't work for what he believes in if he is "redistricted out of existence". It's a bind.

  • 17. Rhie  |  February 17, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    First, I think that's a pretty empty threat. Districts aren't THAT easy to change, especially after a threat like that.

    Second, politicians don't have the power. Lobbyists do. If the GOP did redistrict him out of his political seat, he could just turn around and become a lobbyist.

    So, no. I don't buy it. He's protecting his ass and that's all.

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