INDIANA BRAIN DRAIN GETS A BOOST
Joh Padgett is a friend of mine from Indiana and he keeps me up to date about what's going on in his state. Believe me, just because 3 extreme right wing Republican congressmen-- Sodrel, Hostettler, and Chocola-- were replaced by 3 conservative Democrats-- Hill, Ellsworth and Donnelly-- it doesn't mean that the state's political mess is even close to being cleaned up, let alone on any kind of an even keel. Joh's report today on the latest psychotic episode from far right fanatic State Senator Brandt Hershman will give you a good idea of what the good folks in Indiana are forced to contend with from a political system that appears to function in a parallel universe. Joh's report:
In an effort to run off the entire creative population of Indiana, State Senator Brandt Hershman (R-Evil Bastards) has recently reintroduced legislation, Senate Joint Resolution 7, in the Indiana General Assembly that would create an Indiana Constitutional Amendment adding some key paragraphs which are as follows:
Marriage in Indiana consists only of the union of one man and one woman.
This Constitution or any other Indiana law may not be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.
These two paragraphs would not only ban same sex marriage, but would also tangle up a whole host of laws which have nothing to do with marriage but that extend legal rights and considerations to unmarried couples of all persuasions. This amendment would basically assign married couples to a class of citizen above all else, granting them exclusive rights.
Gary Welsh at Advance Indiana has been blogging about this issue the last couple of weeks and has been keeping his eye on the situation closely. Gary is a moderate to progressive Republican which is a rare combo in these parts but he can be counted on to be principled and advocate on the logical view of any issue. As an openly gay attorney here in Indianapolis, Gary is a lone voice in his party against this amendment and so he has his work cut out for him.
Today he put a post up on Advance Indiana that caught my eye and brought me into the battle with him. It seems our friend Senator Hershman, who has a colorful past of his own (more on that below), has brought in the notorious Rev. Donald Wildmon of the American Family Association
to help advocate on behalf of the amendment. This has kicked this debate up to the next level so I'd like to reach out to friends in the progressive and liberal blogosphere to help out in combating this atrocious legislation.
If you have any friends, relatives, former co-workers or any other personal ties in Indiana through which you could ask for help in contacting state Senators to oppose this craptastic fiasco-in-waiting of an amendment please direct them to this website where they can locate their senator and send him or her an email. It's a simple web form using their ZIP code to find their Senator and Representative.
For a little background on Senator Hershman, to give you an idea of what kind of guy we are dealing with, a story that first appeared in the Logansport Pharos-Tribune on November 7, 2000 told the story of Senator Hershman's first wife, Tracy Johnson Hershman, who the good family values senator forced to get an abortion against her will upon finding out about an unplanned pregnancy in 1997.
Ever the gentleman, a week later this advocate of pro-life policy for thee not me then upheld his own family values by filing, Newt Gingrich-like, for a divorce from his wife. The hypocrisy of this man knows no bounds! You can read more about this story at Advance Indiana and also at Bilerico, another Indiana blogger riled up by the Hershman/Wildmon Bunch.
That Bilerico link is a hoot, well worth checking out. He wants folks to tip him to good gossip like the Hershman story about some of the other sponsors and supporters of the amendment. Cast ye not the first stone kind of stuff if you ask me; whats good for the goose... you get it.