A lot of you are friends with me on Facebook and are likely well aware that I am caught up at the moment in the fight against HJR-3, a proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution that would define marriage as solely between one man and one woman. I’m going to write more about that one of these days – I keep trying to get my thoughts into a cohesive lump instead of the ranty outbursts I post on Facebook. But today is not that day; today I have a little comic relief for you. But first, a little background.
Here’s the wording of the proposed amendment:
“Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”
The first sentence is bad enough, but the second is wildly troubling even for some who are opposed to marriage equality. It has opened up all kinds of questions and even led to a supporting bill theoretically defining the intent of the amendment.
Over the weekend I had the opportunity to listen to several area representatives speak, and one of them suggested that even though he found the second sentence troubling, he still supports the amendment. I was (naturally) pissed. Today, however, he (with some others) filed an amendment to remove the second sentence. I emailed the encouraging news to a friend with whom I’d been discussing it over the weekend, and got this back in response. It’s freakin’ awesome.
But first, before we get to that, this is a wildly important issue, and if you are looking for more information or want to know how to get involved in the fight for equality for ALL Hoosiers, please visit Freedom Indiana (or ask me questions – I am happy to talk about it).
HOLY CRAP, while I was getting this together the amendment to remove the second sentence was passed! But this is still awesome and funny and timely so you’re getting it anyway. :)
I did not write anything below this line – all from my clever friend. (Sorry about the somewhat wonky formatting.)
Good for him. Now maybe he – or anybody in the media – could start asking folks what the heck the second sentence does or means. We supposedly have an entire bill, HB 1153, that describes what the second sentence doesn’t do. Namely, that it’s not there to take away benefits, rights, etc. So why is it there?
If the institution of marriage between man and woman is so fundamental – a truism – that itself connotes only one meaning, then why would you need a second sentence? Its removal does nothing…unless of course it does exactly what it sounds like it does.
I’d like the exchange to go a little something like A Few Good Men…
Speaker, I have just one more question
before I call the Indy Chamber and
Indiana University: If you gave an order
that Marriage wasn’t to be touched,
and your orders are always followed,
then why would marriage be in danger, why
would it be necessary to have
the second sentence?
And SPEAKER has no answer.
He sits there, and for the first time, seems to be lost.
Gay marriage is a sub-standard form of
union. The second sentence is offered
But that’s not what you said. You
said the amendment was to protect “marriage.”
Yes. That’s correct, but –
You said, “Marriage was in danger”. I said,
“Grave danger”. You said –
Yes, I recall what –
I can have the Court Reporter read
back your –
I know what I said. I don’t need it
read back to me like I’m a damn –
Then why the two sentences?
Why did you –
Sometimes legislators take matters into their
No sir. You made it clear just a
moment ago that legislators
could not take matters into their own hands.
Marriage is between man and woman. So
Marriage shouldn’t have been in any
danger at all, should it have,
Everyone’s sweating now. Everyone but WENDY.
You little bastard.
Your Honor, I have to ask for a recess
I’d like an answer to the question,
The Court’ll wait for answer.
If Turner told his men that Marriage
wasn’t to be touched, then why did
it have to have a second sentence?
SPEAKER is looking at Long and Morris.
SPEAKER says nothing.
Turner ordered the second sentence, didn’t
he? Because that’s what you told
him to do.
WENDY will plow through the objections of LEHMAN and the
admonishments of the Judge.
And when it went bad, you cut these
Your Honor –
That’ll be all, counsel.
You had Judiciary hold a phony
Committee hearing –
You doctored the committee meetings.
I’ll ask for the fourth time. You
You want answers?
I think I’m entitled to them.
You want answers?!
I want the truth.
You can’t handle the truth!
And nobody moves.
Son, we live in a world that has
walls. And those walls have to be
guarded by old white men. Who’s gonna
do it? You? You, Rep. Heuer? I
have a greater responsibility than
you can possibly fathom. You weep
for gays and you curse our
marriage. You have that luxury. You
have the luxury of not knowing what
I know: That squashing gay rights, while
tragic, probably saved lives. And my
existence, while grotesque and
incomprehensible to you, saves lives.
You don’t want the truth. Because
deep down, in places you don’t talk
about at parties, you want me on
that wall. You need me on that wall.
We use words like honor, code,
freedom… we use these words as the
backbone to a life spent defending
bigotry. You use ‘em as a punchline.
I have neither the time nor the
inclination to explain myself to a
man who rises and sleeps under the
blanket of the very freedom I provide,
then questions the manner in which I
provide it. I’d prefer you just said
thank you and went on your way.
Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a
weapon and stand a post. Either way,
I don’t give a damn what you think
you’re entitled to.
Did you order the second sentence?
I did the job you sent me to do.
Did you order the second sentence?
You’re goddamn right I did.