Wednesday, January 14, 2009
New Marriage Amendment Unveiled

Changing the definition of marriage to include same-sex couples forces all of us to radically change our understanding of family.  Judges and politicians should never impose a system that knowingly deprives a child of a mom and a dad.  This is not merely about tolerance; it is about forcing everyone to accept homosexual relationships as equal to marriage.  Children will be taught that same-sex marriage is the equivalent of traditional marriage and that traditional gender roles are merely an option in family structures.  Research shows that children do best in mother-father households. 

Marriage is at the foundation of our society and should be protected from activist judges.  We can’t let them define marriage for us - Indiana should rejoin the mainstream on this issue as thirty other states in America have done and pass the marriage amendment.

Comments: (20)



You have no civic business telling other citizens how to live or other churches what to sanctify. And the government has no business declaring a winner in what is a religious disagreement.

In banning even the recognition of civil unions, the movement appears to me to be motivated entirely by a discomfort, based on personal religious views, with gay citizens living our lives with our loved ones.

The objective appears to be to leverage the government against anything that makes our lives easier, rather than harder, in the generally misbegotten belief that gays will become straight. Defending "the sanctity of marriage" or the "definition of marriage" strikes me as a front for the actual objective based on a religious view.

But that objective is no longer attractive to Americans or Hoosiers, who overwhelmingly now support measures to extend equal protection of the laws to gays in the workplace and, increasingly, in the home.

(I admit... this is slightly adapted from a post made on Hoosier access.)

At the Governor's Inauguration, we all pledged (or at least I did) allegiance to a nation with liberty and justice for all.

But by you I'm reminded of the poem from early in the last century:

Though dear to me my faith and shrine,
I serve my country well when I
Respect the creeds that are not mine.
He little loves the land who’d cast
Upon his neighbor’s word a doubt,
Or cite the wrongs of ages past
From present rights to bar him out.

You are once again embarking on a faith-based crusade to bar gay citizens from our present rights to religious freedom and equal protection of the laws. America, and Indiana, should be a land of liberty, not a theocracy.

Ryan, I've gone back and look at the host of back and forth comments exchanged last year on this site concerning the prior language of what was formely SJR7. (Is it now HJR7 since its been introduced by Representatives Turner and Cheatham into the Indiana House?).

I notice that one change that representatives at your press conference sort of muttered under their breath but that the materials seem to want to shy away from is that civil unions, whether imposed by the judiciary or freely enacted by the legislature itself, are now outlawed. You indicate that the new language was the result of careful research of the amendments of other states, and that the sponsors chose language from Kentucky and Wisconsin. In doing so they declined language from other states, including Arizona I think, which spoke only in terms of marriage itself. Is there are reason that choice was made.

I ask that question because as I recall both you and Sue Swayze liked to tell all of us how lucky we were that the prior amendment left the state legislature free to enact "marriage in all but name" even though you understandly didn't care for it.

A little insight into the mechanism of the fundamental change of mind would be quite helpful to your readers on both sides.

And if you could tell us the criteria that the judiciary should use in determining what is or is not "substantially similar to" marriage it would be beneficial, too. Do you think those "unelected activist judges" are up to that task?

And then if you will, would you please lay out the history, both before and after Kentucky enacted the same language, of what proponents said about domestic partnerships and then the litigation and attorney general's opinion that followed?

Veritas Rex is depended upon by a numner of folks not to just promulgate the bare talking points and media flashes, but to discuss honestly and openly the various nuances of the modification to the Bill of Rights of the Indiana Constitution that you seek approval of.

Tony Perkins ducked the questions saying that the House sponsors were the ones who put the language together and made the choices. If you want them to do a guest piece explaining in detail these things, that would be a great contribution, too.

Ryan, you state that "64% of the United States population is under the definition of marriage as one man and one woman. "

But wouldn't 100% of the United States population be under the definition of marriage as one man and one woman due to the Federal Defense of Marriage Act?

Judging from IFI's repeated (I should also note unsuccessful) attempts to install a marriage amendment in Indiana, you may not be aware that there is a Federal Defense of Marriage Act that came to be all the way back in 1996. For reference, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defense_of_Marriage_Act

Come to think of it, IFI has been going at this game since 2005--the only year you were actually able to sway the General Assembly into thinking that Hoosiers need yet another law defining marriage (For reference see Indiana's Defense of Marriage Act).

Tell me Ryan, how do your constituents feel about the last four years of their wasted money? How do they feel in these times of economic hardship, when they have sacrificed more then you should have ever asked for, that you still have not been able to pass IFI's marriage amendment?

"Research shows that children do best in mother-father households."

Not so fast. The web page you linked to says nothing of the sort. It says children do better when raised by two parents vs. by one. Study after study has shown that there is no difference in outcome for children raised by same-sex couples vs. by opposite sex ones.

The research you link to also says that marriage helps keep relationships stable. By banning same-sex couples from participating in civil marriage, you are removing a social support for their relationships and any children they may have or adopt. Thereby hurting kids. Good job!

Since you use the logic that 30 states and 64% of the country have a marriage amendment the since 45 states have a hate crimes law and Indiana doesn't, can I count on your support to enact a hate crimes law in Indiana? Seriously.

Uh, Ryan? Hello? How do you respond?

Dear Perplexed: You must not be a regular reader of this blog. Ryan and the other contributors only write, and state a desire to enter into civil discourse. Then when somebody dares have a contrary thought and asks questions, there is typically either dead silence or a very delayed reply either condemning the challange as a "red herring", or pleading the he and others are just too busy. I think Harry Truman had something to say about staying out of the kitchen, but that was a long time ago and I don't remember the rest.

That's disappointing. Seems to be a loss of credibility when you start to engage in a topic with a post, and then fail to follow-up.

Yes, Perplexed, but the name of the game is to just say its all about "unelected activist judges" and stick to it come hell or hight water. Ryan knows well why they want to downplay the fact that the revision to SJR7 took away what IFI insisted still remained the perogative of the Indiana General Assembly. But I suspect we'll really never see a full and fair explanation as to why the policy decision behind that 180 degree turn.

For those of you who would like to see the contributors engage full time in the writing of this blog please feel free to click on the link in the top right section.


Contribute in order to get responses? That's a pretty weak and pathetic. No one is asking for "full time" writing, but rather to respond to topics other than just posting them. If it is too much work to follow up, than perhaps there shouldn't be any topics at all. It's obvious there is clear avoidance.

Perplexed: I think you are being a little to harsh here. Every organization, not-for-profits included, ought to be able to solicit funds to replace old, depreciating equipment. After watching Ryan's interview on Bilerico the other day, it's clear that the current spin machine needs an overhaul, because it couldn't quite reconcile the former IFI/VR statements concerning civil unions with the new, nor figure out how to reconcile what happened in Kentucky to domestic partnerships what Ryan's talking points told him to say. I understand the machine is down for repairs, and have no qualms about 501(c)(3) money being used for that purpose.


it doesn't take a full time writer to answer a simple question.

Ah, fee-based blogging. That will go far.

I'm sure you honestly don't believe that Kurt and Ryan and the rest of the IFI staff have nothing better to do that to sit down and respond to all of your posts. Of course they are interested in the blog and want to have honest discussion (demonstrated by all of the various responses they have offered over the months to the same old arguments you regulars put out there), but just in case you haven't heard...the legislature has begun.

They are busy!


Name me one study...there are none that reach your conclusion.

Brandon - the Federal DOMA did not protect Massachussetts, California, Iowa, etc. from activist judges.


I will not answer all your questions as we both know that we will be clashing in the halls (more likely a committee room *smile*) of the Statehouse again this session and I prefer not give away every thought to the enemy. I'm sure you and your Indiana Equality friends understand the way this works.

However, we both know that given the track record of the same language in Wisconsin and Kentucky most of the same tired arguments your side drags up are useless now. You can check out the FAQ I just posted, but you don't need me to answer these questions for you (as you well know)...just look at what has happened in Wisconsin and Kentucky (which I'm sure you have already done...you are a very smart lawyer...I wish the other side hadn't gotten to you first...yes, that's a compliment).

"I wish the other side hadn't gotten to you first...yes, that's a compliment)."

Flattery will get you........almost got me to follow Kurt's suggestion and click in the upper right hand corner. But a Voice stayed my hands, er, mouse.

Someone once said that lawyers are "intellectual prostitutes", taking whatever side of an argument depending on who was putting coins in their parking meter at a given time. Somehow, though, after reading IFI's mission statement and that of the Alliance Defense Fund I doubt if the last word in that term would fit very well.

I am studying your FAQ. Actually I am submitting it to "enhanced interrogation". Oh wait a minute......after last Tuesday that term may have changed.