HJR-6

TW for discrimination and some talk of killing (a bill, not a living being).

The more I look into the war the Indiana LGBT community has ahead of us when it comes to preventing HJR-6 from ever reaching the polls, or killing it once it does reach the polls, the more hopeless the cause seems here and the less energetic I feel about activist efforts to defeat the measure. I’m overwhelmed. We’ve had so many victories as of late, but I could so easily see this happening here and taking a step back.

My first step seems very simple on its surface: I intend to write letters to legislators and organize a letter-writing party. It’s very simple, very easy to complete, it isn’t going to take too much time, it allows me to work with the Indiana Equality Action, the group that is leading the Nix 6 Campaign. What I want to do with the Innovations class is focus on this theme for the semester – fighting HJR-6 – and do so in a number of ways. Letters to legislators. Target the youth for whom this may be their first vote if it comes to the vote. Etc, etc, etc. It is of absolute importance to me that HJR-6 dies; I have to exhaust every resource I have in my arsenal. This bill and the looming battle we have in front of us terrify me. But I’m stuck in this state until 2018 – I can’t afford to be apathetic. I may ultimately plant down in another more liberal state at some point, but that other more liberal state is a long way off. I hold no affinity for my home state, but I have to fight for her.

Gay marriage is already illegal in Indiana. A vote against HJR-6 is not a vote for marriage equality – it is a vote against amending our constitution for the first time in state history to take away rights instead of give them. What it *would* do would eliminate anything “substantially similar to marriage” that is not marriage. Depending on interpretation, HJR-6 would not only prevent any future attempts to allow for same-sex marriage, but could also eliminate health care benefits for same-sex partnerships, eliminate legally binding documents for same-sex couples that are “substantially similar to marriage” such as wills and trusts, prevent inheritance laws from being applied to same-sex couples, and/or make hospital visitation rights unenforceable. HJR-6 would also affect heterosexual couples in domestic partnerships and endanger legal protections for unmarried families. There are 614 state laws that would be affected by HJR-6 – this is a terrifying bill. Even for those like myself who don’t believe in the institution of marriage and have no intention of ever getting married an attempt to use the constitution to take away rights is bigger than marriage and bigger than all of us. I am determined to kill this bill. Minnesota did it, and we have to be able to do it too.

For further reading on how Indiana is the harbinger of the movement’s future, see: http://www.bilerico.com/2013/08/indiana_is_a_harbinger_of_the_movements_future.php?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BilericoProject+%28The+Bilerico+Project%29

Author: Meg

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