Former Indiana State Rep. Laments His Vote Against Gay Marriage

Indianapostcard With conservatives back in control of Indiana's government, marriage equality and civil unions are again on the chopping block.

Just this week an Indiana House committee approved a law that would not only explicitly ban same-sex marriage, but also civil unions, despite the fact that Indiana lawmakers have already passed a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman, and prohibit civil unions.

As lawmakers consider this new law, a Democrat who voted for a similar law that ultimately failed, former State Rep. Dave Crooks, has penned an op-ed describing that vote as his "worst."

I believe the worst vote I ever cast was to amend the Indiana Constitution to ban gay marriage and civil unions. I cast the vote for my own political reasons. Many people told me a “no” vote could cost me re-election and would upset the majority of the people I represented.

I fear the amendment, once on the ballot, will create more hate against lesbians and homosexuals. I also believe it will hurt our economy. Indiana employers who attempt to attract the best employees from across the nation and around the globe will discover many potential employees will say no to our state and take their talents and skills elsewhere. Gay entrepreneurs with money to invest will likely take their investments to a more tolerant state.

Crooks explains that though he's "not an advocate for same-sex marriage," he does believe the potential legislation "goes too far."

"Indiana already has a ban against same-sex marriage… There is no reason to ban both same-sex marriage and civil unions," he says. "The bottom line for me: Lawmakers should never use our precious constitution to take away rights from any of our citizens." While Crooks' comments are compelling, inaction on the current law also tarnishes the violation: without overturning the "traditional," legalized definition of marriage, there can be no true progress for gay people or the state of Indiana.

Read Crooks' entire letter, AFTER THE JUMP

From The Indianapolis Star:

I served 12 years in the Indiana General Assembly as a state representative from 1996-2008. I cast thousands of votes during my legislative career. However, I believe the worst vote I ever cast was to amend the Indiana Constitution to ban gay marriage and civil unions. I cast the vote for my own political reasons. Many people told me a “no” vote could cost me re-election and would upset the majority of the people I represented. The amendment eventually died in committee the following session and never reached the ballot for voter approval.

Let’s face it. Indiana already has a ban against same-sex marriage. The law has held for several years. However, Republicans who now control all of state government are hell-bent on passing the amendment. These so-called conservatives can’t wait to tamper with our constitution. Many Democrats who once faced the fear I did as a legislator will likely join them.

I fear the amendment, once on the ballot, will create more hate against lesbians and homosexuals. I also believe it will hurt our economy. Indiana employers who attempt to attract the best employees from across the nation and around the globe will discover many potential employees will say no to our state and take their talents and skills elsewhere. Gay entrepreneurs with money to invest will likely take their investments to a more tolerant state.

I’m not an advocate for same-sex marriage. However, I believe the amendment goes too far. There is no reason to ban both same-sex marriage and civil unions. The bottom line for me: Lawmakers should never use our precious constitution to take away rights from any of our citizens.


Towleroad News #gay

—  David Taffet

Surprise, surprise – Rep. Duncan Hunter filing bill to halt implementation of DADT repeal

It’s like a bad sitcom; one so bad that the writers hand the script out to the audience so they can read the punchlines and sob at how sh*tty the writing is.

One of the authors of this particular flaming turd of a script is California Congressman Duncan Hunter, a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Did I mention he’s a Republican? He is attempting to best serve his constituents’ needs (I guess economic issues in the Golden State aren’t top priority) by focusing on how to keep the soap from dropping in the showers if gays and lesbians are allowed to serve openly. The UNENDING SOAP-DROP CREEP SCRIPT.

This variation isn’t even original, but it’s predictable – get all of the service chiefs permission before signing off on repeal. Miss Mitch McConnell already tried and failed that stale script over in the Senate. (The Hill):

Hunter, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, is concerned that the bill passed in December repealing the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy “excluded the service chiefs from the certification process,” said one congressional aide.

The repeal bill, signed into law Dec. 22 by President Obama, requires only the OK of the president, defense secretary and Joint Chiefs chairman.

The chairman technically speaks for the chiefs, but they should be included in the debate,” said the aide. “The chiefs are the ones carrying the burden of combat on their shoulders.”

Hunter’s measure would require the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps chiefs to submit to the congressional defense committees “written certification that repeal … will not degrade the readiness, effectiveness, cohesion and morale of combat arms units and personnel of the armed force under [each] officer’s jurisdiction engaged in combat, deployed to a combat theater, or preparing for deployment to a combat theater,” according to a copy obtained by The Hill.

One of the commenters at The Hill hit the nail on the head:

If Repubs are now going to focus on moral and social issues it will be a short stay in the majority for them indeed. Budget, jobs, out of control spending, etc. are the issues Repubs were sent to fix; not our society!!

H/t, Joe @ Americablog.

~~~~~

Related:

* Rep. Duncan Hunter’s Concern With DADT Includes “Hermaphrodites” And “Transgenders”
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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GOP Rep. Duncan ‘Not the YMCA’ Hunter introduces bill to thwart DADT repeal

Last December, during the debate on DADT repeal, Rep. Duncan Hunter was one of the GOPers who led the effort to defeat the legislation. You may remember him as the guy who said the military was “not the YMCA.” Yeah, him.

You’ll also recall that in the House, the bill passed by a very wide margin: 250 – 175. That was a 35-vote pick up from the first DADT vote in May of 2010 and included 15 House GOPers. But, Hunter isn’t finished. He’s going to introduce what SLDN’s Aubrey Sarvis called the “killer amendment,” which would add the service chiefs to the certification process. Mitch McConnell tried the same thing in December, on the after the Senate passed the repeal bill. Of course, it’s too late now. But, that’s not stopping Duncan Hunter. He’s obsessed.

Yep, the GOP’s political gay-bashing begins:

A member of the House Armed Services Committee plans to introduce legislation next week designed to put the brakes on repeal of the military’s ban on openly gay troops.

The measure by Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) would add the four military service chiefs to the list of those who must sign off on repealing the policy before it can be officially scrapped.

Hunter, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran, is concerned that the bill passed in December repealing the “Don’t ask, don’t tell” policy “excluded the service chiefs from the certification process,” said one congressional aide.

So, this is what the GOP House is going to spend its time doing? Proposing legislation to thwart DADT repeal? After all, only around 80% of the American people support DADT repeal, including some very prominent Republicans. These days, this issue is only controversial for homophobes.

If this is any indication (and it probably is), sure looks like the Log Cabin Republicans and GOProud are going to have their hands full with their fellow GOPers.




AMERICAblog Gay

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Someone please buy them a G.I. Joe to fiddle with instead: Rep. Duncan Hunter edition

Of course he is:

GOP Rep. Duncan Hunter To Introduce Bill To Blockade DADT Repeal Certification [J.M.G.]

would require the Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps chiefs to submit to the congressional defense committees “written certification that repeal … will not degrade the readiness, effectiveness, cohesion and morale of combat arms units and personnel of the armed force under [each] officer’s jurisdiction engaged in combat, deployed to a combat theater, or preparing for deployment to a combat theater,” according to a copy obtained by The Hill.

If that doesn’t work, keep an eye out For Rep. Michelle Bachmann’s followup attempt, The Tie Gay Solders’ Shoe Laces Together In Hopes That They Trip Act of 2011.




Good As You

—  admin

CNN Interviews Gay Hero Daniel Hernandez On Rep. Giffords Shooting


(Via – AmericaBlog)

Joe. My. God.

—  admin

Gay Latino Hero: Daniel Hernandez, Jr. saved Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ life

Daniel Hernandez, Jr. was the right man in the right place at the right time.  Just five days into his internship for Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, the 20-year old college student was checking people into Rep. Gifford’s “Congress on Your Corner” event when the shooting started.

According to Arizona Republic, Hernandez started assisting victims before the shooting even stopped.

When the shots began that morning, he saw many people lying on the ground, including a young girl. Some were bleeding. Hernandez said he moved from person to person checking pulses.

“First the neck, then the wrist,” he said. One man was already dead. Then he saw Giffords. She had fallen and was lying contorted on the sidewalk. She was bleeding.

Using his hand, Hernandez applied pressure to the entry wound on her forehead. He pulled her into his lap, holding her upright against him so she wouldn’t choke on her own blood. [snip]

Hernandez used his hand to apply pressure until someone from inside Safeway brought him clean smocks from the meat department. He used them to apply pressure on the entrance wound, unaware there was an exit wound. He never let go of her.

He stayed with Giffords until paramedics arrived. They strapped her to a board and loaded her into an ambulance. Hernandez climbed in with her. On the ride to the hospital, he held her hand. She squeezed his back.

Hernandez’s immediate actions probably saved her life, a hospital physician said.

Daniel is a Latino man.  According to Dallas Voice, Daniel is also gay and a member of the City of Tucson Commission on Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Issues.

Like Mark Bingham, the gay rugby player who helped thwart the plans of the 911 hijackers on Flight 93, and like the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender soldiers still serving in silence in our military under threat of expulsion, Daniel’s actions remind us that LGBT Americans are actively serving society.  A society that is over 90% heterosexual.

Like U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Colorado Supreme Court Justice Monica Marquez and Speaker of the California Assembly John Pérez, Daniel’s actions remind us that Latino Americans are actively serving society at large, a society that is 85% non-Latino.

Andr?s Duque from Blabbeando so beautifully encapsulates the significance of Daniel Hernandez’s actions to the Latino and LGBT communities:

Of course, from the accounts, Daniel is a hero regardless of whether he’s Latino or gay or Irish or purple.

But it’s striking that in a state that has unfortunately become a national standard-bearer for some of the worst xenophobic sentiments in the current political climate, it IS a Latino man who happens to be gay who decided to stay by Congresswoman’s Giffords’ side and might very well have saved her life.

I can’t help but be moved at how such a selfless gesture can cut straight through all those efforts to demonize Latinos – or gays – specially in light of recent events in Arizona.

Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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UPDATE: AZ U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords clears surgery after attempted assassination in Tucson

4:05 PM ET: From live presser re: AZ shooting – surgeon says he’s “as optimistic as he can be” about Giffords’ recovery (full recovery unclear). Surgery over. One child shot has died. Federal authorities identify the gunman as Jared Laughner of Arizona, born September 1988.

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was hosting her first “Congress on Your Corner” at a Safeway supermarket in northwest Tucson when she and at least 12 people were shot.

This is the first female member of Congress targeted for assassination; Giffords is a member of the LGBT Caucus. From LGBTPOV:

This blogger notes that Gifford was on Sarah Palin’s political hit list for her support of healthcare reform. The blogger agrees and says: “I intend to do my part to help make her pay.”
“As those of us who follow Sarah Palin’s political activity are aware, the former Governor of Alaska has strongly recommended that We the People Take Back the 20 in the November elections. The 20 under discussion are legitimately vulnerable Democrats up for reelection to Congress this fall and who also live in voting districts that went for McCain/Palin in 2008. One of those Democrats is Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona’s District 8.

Gaby Giffords is also on my personal political hit list, primarily because Pam and I live in Cochise County, Arizona, which is part of District 8. We don’t appreciate our Representative going against our wishes and voting for Obama’s Health Care Deformed…and I intend to do my part to help make her pay.”

From CNN:

UPDATE: The right-wing blogger took his post down but here’s a screencap:

UPDATE #2: Sarah Palin has taken down a page from the SarahPAC website that showed Rep. Giffords and others targeted in Tea Party cross hairs.

Sarah Palin’s statement on her Facebook page: (be sure to check out the comments)

My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona.

On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.

- Sarah Palin

Statement from the President:

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

_____________________________________________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 8, 2011

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

This morning, in an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot in Tucson, Arizona, at a constituent meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.  And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded.

We do not yet have all the answers.  What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society.  I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.

UPDATE 3: Giffords interviewed recently about being “targeted”:

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but, the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted, has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that action.”

 
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

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HRC Statement on Shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

Reacting to the tragic shooting involving U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.  HRC President Joe Solmonese today released the following statement:

“We are shocked and saddened by the events involving Congresswoman Giffords and our hearts go out to her and the other victims of this awful tragedy.  Gabby Giffords is a champion for LGBT equality and a principled leader for Arizona.  We wish her a speedy recovery as our thoughts and prayers are with her family as well as with the families of all of those touched by today’s horrific violence.”


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  admin

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is supporter of LGBT equality

There is extensive coverage about the shooting of Rep. Giffords, a federal judge (who died) and several others at AMERICAblog.com. Giffords is an LGBT ally in Congress. she voted for the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (twice) and the Hate Crimes bill. The Washington Blade has more.

Arizona Progress
will have updates, too. There are vigils in Arizona and DC.

There’s an enormous amount of attention focused on Sarah Palin’s targeting of Giffords last year.

And, there’s this infamous tweet, which has apparently been deleted, but was captured by Scoot Wooledge:

Last March 25th, Giffords was on MSNBC after her office was vandalized. The Congresswoman talked about being on that targeted list of Sarah Palin, noting “the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that they’ve got to realize there are consequences to that action.” Chuck Todd appeared to dismiss Giffords’ concern stating, “in the moment it may look bad.”

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy




AMERICAblog Gay

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Sarah Palin’s Rifle Crosshairs Targeted Rep. Gabrielle Giffords For Elimination

The mainstream media MUST DEMAND a response from Palin over this. I screamed my fucking head off about this map last year for just this reason.

Joe. My. God.

—  admin