|HJR-6 is overbroad, unfair & limits freedom for all Hoosiers|
|Written by Martin De Julia|
|Sunday, December 29, 2013 11:21 AM|
Currently, Indiana law prohibits gay and lesbian citizens from civil marriage (Indiana Code section 31-11-1-1), which reads: a) “Only a female may marry a male. Only a male may marry a female.” b) “A marriage between persons of the same gender is void in Indiana even if the marriage is lawful in the place where it was solemnized.”
House Joint Resolution-6, the proposed constitutional amendment, reads: “Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”
HJR-6 not only duplicates existing state law and create more bureaucracy, but it but also prohibits any recognition of civil unions and domestic partnerships—and not just for same gender couples but for all “unmarried individuals” in Indiana.
As professor of law Shawn Marie Boyne at IU School of Law has stated about HJR-6: “Our state constitution is a sacred covenant between our state government and the citizens of the state-one [...] that should bind us together rather than find ways to separate Hoosiers based on our personal opinions on divisive social issues.”
The proposed language does not stop at prohibiting “gay marriage” but takes away freedoms and liberties from all unmarried couples in Indiana, thereby creating in effect second class citizenship for our fellow Hoosiers. Under HJR-6 some Hoosiers would, evidently, be more equal than others.
I was raised in Dearborn County Indiana from 1960 to 1977. From 1977 to 1982, I attended Purdue University in Tippecanoe Couty, Ind. earning my BA and MA. In 1982, I left Indiana for San Francisco, Calif. I was sworn into the California bar in December of 1989.
In 2002, after 20 years of being away and as the oldest of three sons, I returned to my hometown and neighborhood to be near my folks as they grow old. Filial obligation is a very traditional family value that I learned from my family and my church.
When my filial obligation is complete, will I, a gay man, stay in Indiana? Why stay where you are not welcome? Why should a national or international employer with domestic partnership benefits locate to Indiana where some of its employees will be treated as second-class citizens?
HJR-6 is overbroad, unfair and limits the freedoms of all citizens—gay and straight—of Indiana. Persons of goodwill must oppose it.