Law students’ research at center of support for fighting gay marriage ban

November 28, 2012
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When opponents of the much talked about proposed amendment to ban gay marriage cite a study showing that the ban could impact 614 Indiana laws, they’ll be using research performed by students at Indiana University Maurer School of Law.

More than 25 students in the LGBT Project at the law school spent nine months researching and cataloguing Indiana statutes related to married and family life. Their research has been published by Indiana Equality Action, a nonprofit that is fighting the push to pass an amendment banning gay marriage in Indiana.

“What is clear from this compendium is the extent to which Indiana law uses civil marriage as a way to classify, grant rights to, and impose responsibilities upon couples and families in 614 ways. We hope that it serves as a resource for examining how legislative action around marriage can affect all Hoosier couples and families,” the executive board of the LGBT Project writes in the introduction.

Indiana Equality Action says that awareness of how pervasive the rights and benefits of civil marriage in Indiana are in the statutes is important to “meaningful dialogue concerning a proposed amendment to Indiana’s Constitution that would invalidate and prohibit recognition of any ‘legal status’ identical or ‘substantially similar’ to marriage for unmarried couples.

“Whether one supports or opposes such a proposal, knowing what is involved in something as enduring as an amendment to the Bill of Rights in Indiana’s highest legal document is critical to enlightened public discourse and decision,” the organization continues in the report, “More than Just a Couple: 614 Reasons Why Marriage Equality Matters in Indiana.”

The report points to several areas of the law which the students say would be impacted if the amendment passes, including employment and education, property and taxation, and probate and trusts.

Even if you take the gay marriage component out of it, it is a good resource for knowing statutes that are affected by a civil marriage. The intro does note that the document shouldn’t be construed as legal advice and the views expressed in the document are those of the law student authors.
 

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  • your tax dollars at work
    Its really great that the liberal professors have put the law students to work fighting the preservation of traditional marriage in favor of this other sort of partnership. The citizens of Indiana surely do not approve, but when has that ever stopped social engineering from being planned in law schools.
    • Get off my Lawn
      You tell 'em gramps, like all us self righteuous, em, I mean Real Christians say: Get of my lawn you Queers, Liberals, Professors, etc...[insert right wing strawman here]!! --Duly Chastened Straight** Internet Fan ** Pastor Ted said it was ok to tell everyone I am Officially de-gayed now even though all those private "prayer" sessions hasn't done the trick. Something about having to pay, I mean make a special offering, more to the church before the magic, I mean miracle, happens. Praise be! Sarcasm Off: PS - Seriously, these students and their advisors should be commended not sniped at by some right wing troll in the name of "tradition" (i.e., homophobia)
      • Information is Power
        Having not read the report, I take no stance on whether it is biased one way or another, nor should anyone else who doesn't actually read it. Regardless of any position put forth in the report, however, a solid point is made: No matter which position you espouse, knowing the effects of the amendment are critical to having reasoned discourse on it. I commend my alma mater for providing all with this information, regardless of whether it may be slanted one way or another.
      • ha
        I cant tell if that comment is a joke or not, though I kind of laughed; but if the point is that it's homophobic to oppose "gay marriage," then thats about as nonsensical as the notion that white people are racist every time they appose more affirmative action. No reasoning there, just name calling. "right wing" is another one. Means about as much as "left wing." My point was, the state university should not be picking sides in a democratic conflict in a way that is specifically calculated to defeat a popular referendum. I also think the report sounds bogus. Please, preventing the non-existent & faux instittution of gay marriage will somehow complicate laws? HELLO there IS no such institution now so how how could laws be "impacted." I guess I will have to read the wonderful report to be enlightened as to my bigoted ingorance and so forth. YAWN.
        • You missed it
          The point is not that a constitutional ban on gay MARRIAGE will complicate existing laws, but that a ban on anything SUBSTANTIALLY SIMILAR will. 614 Indiana provisions confer rights, impose responsibilities, or otherwise classify on the basis of spousal or potentially spouse-like relationships (same-sex AND opposite-sex). Anyway, the report is meant to be a resource that can facilitate the larger discussion around same-sex marriage. And as Dan Carpenter of the Star so aptly pointed out, that debate centers on "simple justice and first-class citizenship." http://www.indystar.com/article/20121127/OPINION05/211280306/Dan-Carpenter-Careful-what-you-vote-for
          • abolition of heterosexual marriage movement
            The "gay rights" crowd should be renamed these legal efforts the "Movement to Ban Marriage for Breeders" or something that really shows the truly negative animus against traditional marriage. If you render something downwards to the same level as anything else then the distinction without a difference means that the thing was effectively abolished. So framing this as "equal rights" or whatever belies the actual intent and effect which is to neutralize any advantage for heterosexuals in respect of "marriage" because gays deem it unfair. And yet Marriage (heterosexual couple marriage) has existed in societies around the world for centuries-- really, millennia. The cultural differences have revolved around things like property laws and divorce and plural marriage, for the most part. But the notion of homosexual marriage as such is quite novel. Even among the tolerant ancients of Greece and Rome this sort of equivalency between homosexual and heterosexual relationships was unknown. There is no accounting for why the public is so inert before the massive social engineering project to wreck one of the most universally sacred and fundamental social institutions-- marriage. Homosexual marriage is an oxymoron. Again, it baffles me that supposedly a legislative effort to forestall more social engineering along these lines would supposedly be such a bother. It makes no sense really. They can attach their bona fides and make as many citations as they want and people will know better.

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          1. It was mentioned in the article that there have been numerous CLE events to train attorneys on e-filing. I would like someone to provide a list of those events, because I have not seen any such events in east central Indiana, and since Hamilton County is one of the counties where e-filing is mandatory, one would expect some instruction in this area. Come on, people, give some instruction, not just applause!

          2. This law is troubling in two respects: First, why wasn't the law reviewed "with the intention of getting all the facts surrounding the legislation and its actual impact on the marketplace" BEFORE it was passed and signed? Seems a bit backwards to me (even acknowledging that this is the Indiana state legislature we're talking about. Second, what is it with the laws in this state that seem to create artificial monopolies in various industries? Besides this one, the other law that comes to mind is the legislation that governed the granting of licenses to firms that wanted to set up craft distilleries. The licensing was limited to only those entities that were already in the craft beer brewing business. Republicans in this state talk a big game when it comes to being "business friendly". They're friendly alright . . . to certain businesses.

          3. Gretchen, Asia, Roberto, Tonia, Shannon, Cheri, Nicholas, Sondra, Carey, Laura ... my heart breaks for you, reaching out in a forum in which you are ignored by a professional suffering through both compassion fatigue and the love of filthy lucre. Most if not all of you seek a warm blooded Hoosier attorney unafraid to take on the government and plead that government officials have acted unconstitutionally to try to save a family and/or rescue children in need and/or press individual rights against the Leviathan state. I know an attorney from Kansas who has taken such cases across the country, arguing before half of the federal courts of appeal and presenting cases to the US S.Ct. numerous times seeking cert. Unfortunately, due to his zeal for the constitutional rights of peasants and willingness to confront powerful government bureaucrats seemingly violating the same ... he was denied character and fitness certification to join the Indiana bar, even after he was cleared to sit for, and passed, both the bar exam and ethics exam. And was even admitted to the Indiana federal bar! NOW KNOW THIS .... you will face headwinds and difficulties in locating a zealously motivated Hoosier attorney to face off against powerful government agents who violate the constitution, for those who do so tend to end up as marginalized as Paul Odgen, who was driven from the profession. So beware, many are mere expensive lapdogs, the kind of breed who will gladly take a large retainer, but then fail to press against the status quo and powers that be when told to heel to. It is a common belief among some in Indiana that those attorneys who truly fight the power and rigorously confront corruption often end up, actually or metaphorically, in real life or at least as to their careers, as dead as the late, great Gary Welch. All of that said, I wish you the very best in finding a Hoosier attorney with a fighting spirit to press your rights as far as you can, for you do have rights against government actors, no matter what said actors may tell you otherwise. Attorneys outside the elitist camp are often better fighters that those owing the powers that be for their salaries, corner offices and end of year bonuses. So do not be afraid to retain a green horn or unconnected lawyer, many of them are fine men and woman who are yet untainted by the "unique" Hoosier system.

          4. I am not the John below. He is a journalist and talk show host who knows me through my years working in Kansas government. I did no ask John to post the note below ...

          5. "...not those committed in the heat of an argument." If I ever see a man physically abusing a woman or a child and I'm close enough to intercede I will not ask him why he is abusing her/him. I will give him a split second to cease his attack and put his hands in the air while I call the police. If he continues, I will still call the police but to report, "Man down with a gunshot wound,"instead.

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