update: now called HJR3
Have you heard of HJR6? If you think it sounds like a virus you wouldn’t want to contract, you’d be close. It’s the acronym for House Joint Resolution 6 for the State of Indiana. And here it is:
House Joint Resolution 6 is a proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution which states: “Only marriage between one(1) man and one(1) woman will 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.”
At first glance, people may think this is just about same-sex marriages, but it’s not (although that is an important issue). It is on the path for the first time in Indiana’s history, when our state’s constitution is amended to take away rights, rather than to grant them.
Note: HJR-6 must pass through the House and Senate again in 2013. If it passes, unaltered, it will be on the ballot in 2014. This means that Hoosiers will cast their vote either for or against HJR-6 as it is written today. *More info here
Here are my points of this resolution that should make us all quiver a little:
- It will be an “constitutional amendment” in the Bill of Rights. Not just a state law.
- This amendment takes away the rights of future generations to decide for themselves about marriage equality.
- Notice the wording, “marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized”. This means if a couple who is recognized as a common law marriage in another state (Indiana does not recognize common law since 1958) will no longer be recognized as such, if they move to Indiana. They will have to file Indiana taxes separately instead of jointly. What does that mean? We may see a decline for new people moving to this state for employment thus impacting potential state tax revenue and economic growth. Although Rep. Ron Bacon says it will not impact current domestic partner benefits that are offered to couples. I don’t see how it cannot. Get ready for lawsuits.
Indiana already has a law that prohibits same-sex marriage, however recent polling shows that 45% are in favor of same sex marriages.
Whatever your personal beliefs, passing almost any amendment as a part of the state’s constitution should be meant with opposition. Make a law, not a permanent amendment. This stops our future generations to change their minds. Don’t we have enough government in our social affairs? Luckily our Mayor Winnecke along with many other mayors, businesses and universities have opposed HJR6. Our own Evansville City Council wants to formally file a resolution opposing and is in fact meeting tonight at 5:30pm for a meeting.
Don’t just sit there. Please send an email if you too oppose HJR6. But do it fast … the 2014 legislative session is drawing near.
For local peeps, here are quick links to your Representative. Or find your Indiana State Representative quickly here.
State Representative Gail Riecken (also happens to be one of our previous Mother of the Bride’s … shhh!)