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. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) End of Year Report 2014. (page 13) Under the current system many local registering agencies are challenged just keeping up with registration paperwork. It takes an hour or more to process each registrant, the majority of whom are low risk offenders. As a result law enforcement cannot monitor higher risk offenders more intensively in the community due to the sheer numbers on the registry. Some of the consequences of lengthy and unnecessary registration requirements actually destabilize the life’s of registrants and those -such as families- whose lives are often substantially impacted. Such consequences are thought to raise levels of known risk factors while providing no discernible benefit in terms of community safety. The full report is available online at. http://www.casomb.org/index.cfm?pid=231 National Institute of Justice (NIJ) US Department of Justice Office of Justice Programs United States of America. The overall conclusion is that Megan’s law has had no demonstrated effect on sexual offenses in New Jersey, calling into question the justification for start-up and operational costs. Megan’s Law has had no effect on time to first rearrest for known sex offenders and has not reduced sexual reoffending. Neither has it had an impact on the type of sexual reoffense or first-time sexual offense. The study also found that the law had not reduced the number of victims of sexual offenses. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/app/publications/abstract.aspx? ID=247350 The University of Chicago Press for The Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago and The University of Chicago Law School Article DOI: 10.1086/658483 Conclusion. The data in these three data sets do not strongly support the effectiveness of sex offender registries. The national panel data do not show a significant decrease in the rate of rape or the arrest rate for sexual abuse after implementation of a registry via the Internet. The BJS data that tracked individual sex offenders after their release in 1994 did not show that registration had a significantly negative effect on recidivism. And the D.C. crime data do not show that knowing the location of sex offenders by census block can help protect the locations of sexual abuse. This pattern of noneffectiveness across the data sets does not support the conclusion that sex offender registries are successful in meeting their objectives of increasing public safety and lowering recidivism rates. The full report is available online at. http://www.jstor.org/stable/full/10.1086/658483 These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of conclusions and reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. People, including the media and other organizations should not rely on and reiterate the statements and opinions of the legislators or other people as to the need for these laws because of the high recidivism rates and the high risk offenders pose to the public which simply is not true and is pure hyperbole and fiction. They should rely on facts and data collected and submitted in reports from the leading authorities and credible experts in the fields such as the following. California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 0.8% (page 30) The full report is available online at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/Adult_Research_Branch/Research_Documents/2014_Outcome_Evaluation_Report_7-6-2015.pdf California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB) (page 38) Sex offender recidivism rate for a new sex offense is 1.8% The full report is available online at. http://www.google.com/url?sa= t&source=web&cd=1&ved= 0CCEQFjAA&url=http%3A%2F% 2Fwww.cdcr.ca.gov%2FAdult_ Research_Branch%2FResearch_ documents%2FOutcome_ evaluation_Report_2013.pdf&ei= C9dSVePNF8HfoATX-IBo&usg=AFQjCNE9I6ueHz-o2mZUnuxLPTyiRdjDsQ Bureau of Justice Statistics 5 PERCENT OF SEX OFFENDERS REARRESTED FOR ANOTHER SEX CRIME WITHIN 3 YEARS OF PRISON RELEASE WASHINGTON, D.C. Within 3 years following their 1994 state prison release, 5.3 percent of sex offenders (men who had committed rape or sexual assault) were rearrested for another sex crime, the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) announced today. The full report is available online at. http://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/press/rsorp94pr.cfm Document title; A Model of Static and Dynamic Sex Offender Risk Assessment Author: Robert J. McGrath, Michael P. Lasher, Georgia F. Cumming Document No.: 236217 Date Received: October 2011 Award Number: 2008-DD-BX-0013 Findings: Study of 759 adult male offenders under community supervision Re-arrest rate: 4.6% after 3-year follow-up The sexual re-offense rates for the 746 released in 2005 are much lower than what many in the public have been led to expect or believe. These low re-offense rates appear to contradict a conventional wisdom that sex offenders have very high sexual re-offense rates. The full report is available online at. https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/236217.pdf Document Title: SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING IN WASHINGTON STATE: RECIDIVISM RATES BY: Washington State Institute For Public Policy. A study of 4,091 sex offenders either released from prison or community supervision form 1994 to 1998 and examined for 5 years Findings: Sex Crime Recidivism Rate: 2.7% Link to Report: http://www.oncefallen.com/files/Washington_SO_Recid_2005.pdf Document Title: Indiana’s Recidivism Rates Decline for Third Consecutive Year BY: Indiana Department of Correction 2009. The recidivism rate for sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05%, one of the lowest in the nation. In a time when sex offenders continue to face additional post-release requirements that often result in their return to prison for violating technical rules such as registration and residency restrictions, the instances of sex offenders returning to prison due to the commitment of a new sex crime is extremely low. Findings: sex offenders returning on a new sex offense was 1.05% Link to Report: http://www.in.gov/idoc/files/RecidivismRelease.pdf Once again, These are not isolated conclusions but are the same outcomes in the majority of reports on this subject from multiple government agencies and throughout the academic community. No one can doubt that child sexual abuse is traumatic and devastating. The question is not whether the state has an interest in preventing such harm, but whether current laws are effective in doing so. Megan’s law is a failure and is destroying families and their children’s lives and is costing tax payers millions upon millions of dollars. The following is just one example of the estimated cost just to implement SORNA which many states refused to do. From Justice Policy Institute. Estimated cost to implement SORNA Here are some of the estimates made in 2009 expressed in 2014 current dollars: California, $66M; Florida, $34M; Illinois, $24M; New York, $35M; Pennsylvania, $22M; Texas, $44M. In 2014 dollars, Virginia’s estimate for implementation was $14M, and the annual operating cost after that would be $10M. For the US, the total is $547M. That’s over half a billion dollars – every year – for something that doesn’t work. http://www.justicepolicy.org/images/upload/08-08_FAC_SORNACosts_JJ.pdf. Attempting to use under-reporting to justify the existence of the registry is another myth, or a lie. This is another form of misinformation perpetrated by those who either have a fiduciary interest in continuing the unconstitutional treatment of a disfavored group or are seeking to justify their need for punishment for people who have already paid for their crime by loss of their freedom through incarceration and are now attempting to reenter society as honest citizens. When this information is placed into the public’s attention by naive media then you have to wonder if the media also falls into one of these two groups that are not truly interested in reporting the truth. Both of these groups of people that have that type of mentality can be classified as vigilantes, bullies, or sociopaths, and are responsible for the destruction of our constitutional values and the erosion of personal freedoms in this country. I think the media or other organizations need to do a in depth investigation into the false assumptions and false data that has been used to further these laws and to research all the collateral damages being caused by these laws and the unconstitutional injustices that are occurring across the country. They should include these injustices in their report so the public can be better informed on what is truly happening in this country on this subject. Thank you for your time.

          2. Freedom as granted in the Constitution cannot be summarily disallowed without Due Process. Unable to to to the gym, church, bowling alley? What is this 1984 level nonsense? Congrats to Brian for having the courage to say that this was enough! and Congrats to the ACLU on the win!

          3. America's hyper-phobia about convicted sex offenders must end! Politicians must stop pandering to knee-jerk public hysteria. And the public needs to learn the facts. Research by the California Sex Offender Management Board as shown a recidivism rate for convicted sex offenders of less than 1%. Less than 1%! Furthermore, research shows that by year 17 after their conviction, a convicted sex offender is no more likely to commit a new sex offense than any other member of the public. Put away your torches and pitchforks. Get the facts. Stop hysteria.

          4. He was convicted 23 years ago. How old was he then? He probably was a juvenile. People do stupid things, especially before their brain is fully developed. Why are we continuing to punish him in 2016? If he hasn't re-offended by now, it's very, very unlikely he ever will. He paid for his mistake sufficiently. Let him live his life in peace.

          5. This year, Notre Dame actually enrolled an equal amount of male and female students.

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