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. Yes diversity is so very important. With justice Rucker off ... the court is too white. Still too male. No Hispanic justice. No LGBT justice. And there are other checkboxes missing as well. This will not do. I say hold the seat until a physically handicapped Black Lesbian of Hispanic heritage and eastern religious creed with bipolar issues can be located. Perhaps an international search, with a preference for third world candidates, is indicated. A non English speaker would surely increase our diversity quotient!!!

          2. First, I want to thank Justice Rucker for his many years of public service, not just at the appellate court level for over 25 years, but also when he served the people of Lake County as a Deputy Prosecutor, City Attorney for Gary, IN, and in private practice in a smaller, highly diverse community with a history of serious economic challenges, ethnic tensions, and recently publicized but apparently long-standing environmental health risks to some of its poorest residents. Congratulations for having the dedication & courage to practice law in areas many in our state might have considered too dangerous or too poor at different points in time. It was also courageous to step into a prominent and highly visible position of public service & respect in the early 1990's, remaining in a position that left you open to state-wide public scrutiny (without any glitches) for over 25 years. Yes, Hoosiers of all backgrounds can take pride in your many years of public service. But people of color who watched your ascent to the highest levels of state government no doubt felt even more as you transcended some real & perhaps some perceived social, economic, academic and professional barriers. You were living proof that, with hard work, dedication & a spirit of public service, a person who shared their same skin tone or came from the same county they grew up in could achieve great success. At the same time, perhaps unknowingly, you helped fellow members of the judiciary, court staff, litigants and the public better understand that differences that are only skin-deep neither define nor limit a person's character, abilities or prospects in life. You also helped others appreciate that people of different races & backgrounds can live and work together peacefully & productively for the greater good of all. Those are truths that didn't have to be written down in court opinions. Anyone paying attention could see that truth lived out every day you devoted to public service. I believe you have been a "trailblazer" in Indiana's legal community and its judiciary. I also embrace your belief that society's needs can be better served when people in positions of governmental power reflect the many complexions of the population that they serve. Whether through greater understanding across the existing racial spectrum or through the removal of some real and some perceived color-based, hope-crushing barriers to life opportunities & success, movement toward a more reflective representation of the population being governed will lead to greater and uninterrupted respect for laws designed to protect all peoples' rights to life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness. Thanks again for a job well-done & for the inevitable positive impact your service has had - and will continue to have - on countless Hoosiers of all backgrounds & colors.

          3. Diversity is important, but with some limitations. For instance, diversity of experience is a great thing that can be very helpful in certain jobs or roles. Diversity of skin color is never important, ever, under any circumstance. To think that skin color changes one single thing about a person is patently racist and offensive. Likewise, diversity of values is useless. Some values are better than others. In the case of a supreme court justice, I actually think diversity is unimportant. The justices are not to impose their own beliefs on rulings, but need to apply the law to the facts in an objective manner.

          4. Have been seeing this wonderful physician for a few years and was one of his patients who told him about what we were being told at CVS. Multiple ones. This was a witch hunt and they shold be ashamed of how patients were treated. Most of all, CVS should be ashamed for what they put this physician through. So thankful he fought back. His office is no "pill mill'. He does drug testing multiple times a year and sees patients a minimum of four times a year.

          5. Brian W, I fear I have not been sufficiently entertaining to bring you back. Here is a real laugh track that just might do it. When one is grabbed by the scruff of his worldview and made to choose between his Confession and his profession ... it is a not a hard choice, given the Confession affects eternity. But then comes the hardship in this world. Imagine how often I hear taunts like yours ... "what, you could not even pass character and fitness after they let you sit and pass their bar exam ... dude, there must really be something wrong with you!" Even one of the Bishop's foremost courtiers said that, when explaining why the RCC refused to stand with me. You want entertaining? How about watching your personal economy crash while you have a wife and five kids to clothe and feed. And you can't because you cannot work, because those demanding you cast off your Confession to be allowed into "their" profession have all the control. And you know that they are wrong, dead wrong, and that even the professional code itself allows your Faithful stand, to wit: "A lawyer may refuse to comply with an obligation imposed by law upon a good faith belief that no valid obligation exists. The provisions of Rule 1.2(d) concerning a good faith challenge to the validity, scope, meaning or application of the law apply to challenges of legal regulation of the practice of law." YET YOU ARE A NONPERSON before the BLE, and will not be heard on your rights or their duties to the law -- you are under tyranny, not law. And so they win in this world, you lose, and you lose even your belief in the rule of law, and demoralization joins poverty, and very troubling thoughts impeaching self worth rush in to fill the void where your career once lived. Thoughts you did not think possible. You find yourself a failure ... in your profession, in your support of your family, in the mirror. And there is little to keep hope alive, because tyranny rules so firmly and none, not the church, not the NGO's, none truly give a damn. Not even a new court, who pay such lip service to justice and ancient role models. You want entertainment? Well if you are on the side of the courtiers running the system that has crushed me, as I suspect you are, then Orwell must be a real riot: "There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this, Winston — always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face — forever." I never thought they would win, I always thought that at the end of the day the rule of law would prevail. Yes, the rule of man's law. Instead power prevailed, so many rules broken by the system to break me. It took years, but, finally, the end that Dr Bowman predicted is upon me, the end that she advised the BLE to take to break me. Ironically, that is the one thing in her far left of center report that the BLE (after stamping, in red ink, on Jan 22) is uninterested in, as that the BLE and ADA office that used the federal statute as a sword now refuses to even dialogue on her dire prediction as to my fate. "C'est la vie" Entertaining enough for you, status quo defender?

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