IBJOpinion

MAURER: Amend our constitution while we can

Mickey Maurer
August 31, 2013
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Mickey MaurerFellow right-wing Republicans, mount your steeds, take up your lances, and follow our governor as he righteously defends the Hoosier state from the incursion of Freedom Indiana and all citizens who have the temerity to believe they should have the freedom to marry whomever they choose.

Last week, Freedom Indiana, a bipartisan, statewide organization, including clergy, undertook a grassroots campaign to oppose the proposed constitutional amendment that would permanently restrict marriage and civil union to a man and a woman.

Our ancestors rejoiced during the Crusades when in the name of religion they ran through an estimated 5 million infidels. That DNA courses through our bodies and enriches our souls. Now it’s our turn to unleash the serpent of prejudice and hatred.

The current law banning same-sex marriages does not sufficiently set apart and condemn homosexuality. The proposed marriage rights amendment will accomplish that. It prohibits not only the union but other indices of marriage attached to every married couple. Under this legislation, homosexuals cannot receive violence protection against assault by their partner, cannot automatically make health care decisions for their partner in an emergency, cannot qualify for partners’ benefits for health insurance or life insurance, cannot share custody of their shared children and cannot adopt.

The last time we stuck it to a minority was the miscegenation laws, which banned interracial marriage and interracial sex. Those were the good old days. With both hands clutching the Bible, Indiana proudly stood as a state that didn’t repeal this law until 1965—and then only under the threat of a pending Supreme Court decision.

Pay no attention to the claim of Cummins and Eli Lilly that our well-intentioned effort could send Indiana reeling economically, socially and morally. Who cares that we will lose opportunity for businesses that may otherwise consider moving to Indiana and for conventioneers who will undoubtedly revel elsewhere? Soon we will have the Indiana we have all been praying for. God is on our side. (Actually, Moses was the last person to talk with God. “Stick it to the gays” was not on the tablets.)

We can prevail by perpetuating the falsehood that this Constitutional Amendment will protect our young children from unmatched parents who are therefore unfit. The American Academy of Pediatrics states, “a considerable body of professional literature provides evidence that children with parents who are homosexual can have the same advantages and the same expectations for health, adjustment, and development as can children whose parents are heterosexual.”

It is important that we include our children in this endeavor. There will always be somebody to demean and deny and our children need to be ready. Intolerance and bigotry know no boundaries. Plant the seeds of homophobia and you will sprout racism, xenophobia and all the rest.

We must pass this amendment as soon as possible. Acceptance of same-sex marriage has rapidly gone mainstream. According to a recent poll by ABC News and The Washington Post there is a growing plurality—55 percent—that supports marriage equality. We need to get this hate law embedded in our Constitution before it is too late. Very soon fellow Hoosiers led by a large majority of young voters are not going to buy it.

Brian Bosma, a voice of sane conservatism in the state legislature, killed our fun last year when he nixed a bill allowing schools to teach creationism along with evolution in science classes. Bosma is a bright lawyer and a skilled legislator. He may flip on this issue and weigh in again on our attempt to manipulate religion to further our intolerant political agenda.

Above all, we cannot pause to appreciate that although some people have a different sexual orientation, they have ambitions, goals and ideals—that they are human beings who love our country and wish to be full citizens of this state. We cannot cast aside the tired rhetoric of a bygone era and stand beside and support all Hoosiers regardless of sexual persuasion—or can we?•

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Maurer is a shareholder in IBJ Corp., which owns Indianapolis Business Journal.  His column appears every other week. To comment on this column, send e-mail to mmaurer@ibj.com.

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  • Church & State?
    I understand that the state, not the church, issues licenses for marriage and therefore necessitates governmental regulation. However, it is, in every way, a violation of our Constitution to use religious views to create laws, particularly those that provide for the discrimination of any group of citizens. As a heterosexual father of two, as a Christian, as a Hoosier and as an American citizen, I am appalled at the thought that in these times, we are governed by small-minded bigots hiding behind false righteousness to spread their vitriolic message. That at every level of government, votes are bought and sold to the highest bidder (the religious right has a seemingly bottomless coffer) and determined by not what is right, but by what may earn a re-election. Passing this legislation isn't only bad for the business of our state, it's bad for the humanity of Indiana. It would acknowledge to the world that Hoosiers are okay with discrimination, that intolerance isn't just accepted, it's enforced in that backwoods state. Passing this legislation would create a cloud so vast, it would cast a shadow from which we may never escape. This is why more input from our corporate leaders like Mickey is needed. While their personal views may differ on homosexuality, they should all know how bad this idea is for the business of the state. It is my belief that only the weakest of minds are unable to conceive of equality for all (through rational thought), as any open mind may process some common sense. My hope is that some common sense finds its way to the Indiana legislature. Thanks Mickey.
  • Seriously?
    James seriously you actually used the word "slippery slope" in your argument. Have you never ever ever taken a course in inductive reasoning? Or heard of it? Or know what it means? Basically, you are scared of gay people so "Screw em"
  • Congrats!
    Your Logical Fallacy is... https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/slippery-slope
    • Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo
      Lol @ the rage. Too bad it's lost on some know-nothing radicals who probably are waking their kids on a school night to vehemently pray.
    • Well said
      You might very well be my new best friend. Thank you very much for this.
    • Ignorance is a Plague
      Mickey's post is delightful, I can in particular envision my fellow Hoosiers so desperately gripping their Bibles. It is a shame they cannot interpret their own holy books, cherry picking bits here to justify hatred there. Ignorance is a plague, isolated pockets of humanity clutching at their diluted doctrine, they long ago forgot the good messages their books can teach, and focus instead on using these works as tools for hatred. James, from your post I can tell you are very far from being a Christian. The only Christian morality you should be concerned with is how you treat others, with love and compassion. You have no place to judge; to call one thing natural and one thing unnatural. You arbitrarily pick rules from archaic man-made holy books, ignoring most other rules for convenience. You then use these out of context excerpts to justify hatred. This is entirely against all tenets of Christianity, it is pure wickedness, bigotry, and hatred. It is, in many ways, the opposite of Christian dogma: Anti-Christian, if you will. If you find yourself looking for justification for hatred, you have long veered from the path. You dare speak for God, with the words of mere men. For Shame.
    • Time travel
      You seem to have mastered the art of time travel. Please share you secret so we may travel into the past and understand your quaint and backward ways.
    • Oh my, James
      Your comments are full of incorrect information and non-supported assumptions. The item that is the most silly is your inference that homosexuality is "unnatural." Just because it seems different or "unnatural to you doesn't mean that something is automatically wrong. I have a brother who is left-handed. Compared to the general population, according to you, this unexplainable tendency is unnatural and therefore is wrong and something to be despised and even condemned. Give the subject some more thought, and use logic this time.
    • Not just homosexuals?
      Your piece was wonderful reading. I hope my former colleagues in the legislature get the satire. But are you sure that Sec. 2 of the proposed amendment only applies to "homosexuals?" I think it might have a negative impact on all couples, same sex or otherwise, who choose not to marry. It will be a mess for the courts to clean up...lawyer full employment act. Thanks again for your thoughtfulness and your humor.
    • Great Satire!
      LOL... This was GREAT! Well Done.
    • Really James??
      James, that is the most well-articulated rambling of nonsensical gibberish I've heard in awhile. Plenty of states and other countries have passed same-sex marriage and NONE of those things you mentioned are happening in those places. Gay marriage is not some slippery slope and allowing them to get married won't force any belief system on anybody. Even when the day comes that gay people can get married in Indiana, you'll still have the right and freedom to sit in your home and hate gay people all day long. This isn't about getting everyone to endorse same-sex marriage, it's about making sure every citizen is treated equally and fairly under the law.
    • It's not that simple, Mickey
      You're not seeing the full landscape, Mickey, if you think the homosexual community will be satisfied with State sanctioned "marriage". By legalizing same-sex “marriage,” the State will become its official and active promoter. The State will eventually demand that public officials officiate at the new civil ceremony, order public schools to teach the acceptability of homosexual "marriage" to children, and punish any state employee who expresses disapproval. In the private sphere, objecting parents will see their children exposed more than ever to this new “morality,” businesses offering wedding services (such as florists and bakeries in Oregon) will be forced to provide them for same-sex unions. In every situation where marriage affects society, the State will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning, through silence or act, an attack on the natural order and Christian morality. If homosexual “marriage” is required to be universally accepted as the present step in sexual “freedom,” what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia and other forms of unnatural behavior? Indeed, radical elements of certain “avant garde” subcultures are already advocating such aberrations. And are we to cheerfully accept federal government pressure from the likes of Obama Department of Education appointee Kevin Jennings and his homosexual activism, including his founding of the organization “Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network,” which advocates for homosexuality in public schools? Ultimately, Mickey, as we slide down the slippery slope, we will all be - literally - forced to aberrant behavior as the new normal, just as we are being trained that 7.5 per cent unemployment is fine.
      • THANK YOU!
        Mickey Maurer - you are the hero of the day! As the State Coordinator for the nine PFLAG (Parents, Families, Friends & Allies of Lesbians & Gays) chapters in Indiana, I know full well how damaging this proposed amendment is. So many of our members' children have left the state because they feel they are not welcome here - these are bright, talented young people all with wonderful futures ahead of them. It's too bad that Indiana is driving away some of their most valuable assets.
      • Freedom Without Limits
        To Voice: The last time I looked, marriage is between two consenting adults. This man-marrying-dog thing is such a smokescreen and an easy way for those who are against Marriage Equality to try to take it down that slippery slope. Don't hide behind these ridiculous statements - it's insulting to those in our state who sincerely love each other and want to spend their lives together.
      • Thank you
        You always step up to the plate on this issue. Those of us who feel as you so owe you a debt of gratitude.
      • Mighty Mickey!
        Great job Mickey! Hopefully our legislators and Governor will continue to realize your message is true. At age 62 I have had gay friends, roommates, employees, neighbors, nieces and nephews, even an uncle, not to mention the old still-in-closet teachers and bosses. It's almost like they are everywhere and an embedded part of our earthly society. Keep writing Mickey, many of the elected ones are still in denial that these folks are real human beings worthy of being treated as such.
      • Excellent Satire
        After giving thought a couple of years ago to coming back to Indiana, we quickly changed our decision when it became possible to be married in our state of NY. Hearing that IN was going to outlaw us by a constitutional amendment prompted us to sell all assets we have in IN and take our charitable work elsewhere. No loss, I'm sure many state legislators would have thought. What a disconnect between the comments I read on IBJ and the people I know in the state when compared to the elected majority. How does this happen? I bet you'll see a big flip on the issue by the Gov.
      • Right on target
        Thank you for such an eloquent column. As a child of mixed race parents (who had to leave the state of Missouri to get married), I have evolved to see this as a true civil rights issue. I have so many gay friends and family members, that I fully supportive of equal rights.
      • Well done, Mr. Maurer
        You've done an eloquent job of explaining why our Indiana Constitution should not be used to bar thousands of its citizens from establishing equal rights of marriage. What ever happened to the freedom of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? Should the fair and equal treatment of a minority be subject to legislation? To all who read this, remember that we are your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, teachers, lawyers, waiters, football players...whatever. Is it morally right that same-sex partners of 20 years are denied the rights that opposite-sex partners are granted 20 seconds after marriage? Thank you Mr. Maurer for understanding what's at risk here.
      • Right...
        You have to love it when hearing the argument about how some shouldn't "shove" their lifestyle down others' throats as an argument in favor of a constitutional amendment banning that lifestyle. Has it ever occurred to you that maybe if you accepted and tolerated another's lifestyle they would not need to continue to fight for that right, and maybe it wouldn't be "shoved" down your throat?
      • Freedom
        How about the Government getting out of all things, so i don't have to pay for your choices? Do as you please, but leave me alone as an individual and an employer. I don't want to pay for your drug treatment, your abortions, your sex changes. If you're so happy with your lifestyle, how about shutting up and not shoving it down everyones throat? Be quiet, be free, be happy.
        • Legislators -- Please READ
          I pray that all our legislators read this, including our esteemed Governor. Like Stephen Colbert, you used humor to reveal bad logic and prejudice. Well said!
        • Freedom without Limits
          Amen brother. Unisex bathrooms. Teachers dating students. Transgender education for elementary schools. Married to my German Shepherd. Porn (soft core only after 7pm) on public television. As many wives or husbands as we dare to have. Hugh Hefner for governor! Linda Lovelace for Supt. of Schools. I have a dream. Let freedom ring.
          • Thank you...
            Thank you for speaking out so fervently. The thought of this kind of bigotry causes my heart to hurt.
          • Bravo, Mr. Maurer
            Let us hope (pray?) that our wise and learned legislators can see past the satire. Indiana cannot hope to attract and retain hi-tech businesses while simultaneously embracing flat earth and bigoted legislation.
          • Well done, Sir!
            I'm excited that in my lifetime, we elected an ethnic president. I'm even happier knowing that equal rights will be shared by all Americans soon. Discrimination is backwards, and it's immoral. If you don't like gay marriage, don't get gay married! Thanks, MM, for a thought-provoking piece.
          • Freedom use whichever hand
            I'm glad God never mentioned lefties, else we may be judged to be unequal too
          • Almost Randy Newman
            Great column..."Short People got no reason, no reason, no reason to live"...
          • AMEN!
            Ban on gay marriage and regressive laws on marijuana while rest of the country lightens up. Grass roots opposition to Republican, archaic social issues is emerging and key to change.
          • You Had Me Going
            I was gearing up for disbelief when I saw the headline and started reading. And then...satire at its best. Sadly, I'm sure some will nod the whole way through without irony. What a great way to lay out prejudice (cloaked in piety in so many cases) for what it is. Ugly.
          • Bravo
            Thank you for saying so eloquently what many of us firmly believe. Bigotry is not a "value" to be promoted or admired

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