Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Kudos to Mrs. Austin

SJR - 7 died last night. Whether the movement for enshrining fear and bigotry in Indiana's Constitution also died is an open question. For now, let us thank Terri Austin for her speech and her vote.
The decision was highlighted by an emotional speech from Rep. Terri J. Austin, D-Anderson, who voted against the amendment.
"I have cried over this. I have prayed over this. I have sought advice from everyone I know to try and come to the right decision in my heart," Austin said, her voice quivering, her eyes filled with tears.
"I know some people will be disappointed in me, but I'll have to live with that."
Like most other members of the committee, Austin said she supported the amendment's first sentence, which defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman.
But, like other Democrats, her support for the amendment's first section was outweighed by concerns over its second phrase, which said state law "may not be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."
Some LGBT activists may be unhappy about such a speech (such as some of the commentators here at Advance Indiana), but everyone who does not think the first words from Indiana's Bill of Rights are a joke should be happy. I also think those same people ought to take to heart these words from Bilerico:

It's rare in politics to find even one politician who will stand up to overwhelming adversity and do the right thing. Here, we have five. These five outstanding Democrats heard the myriad concerns about SJR-7 - the Marriage Discrimination Amendment - and simply said, "No" to the untold damage that poorly-drafted resolution would have caused.

Send them your thanks. Let them know they did the right thing by voting down SJR-7 in committee.

By the way, these words start Indiana's Bill of Rights:
WE DECLARE, That all people are created equal; that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...

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