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House committee ends hearing without vote on marriage amendment

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After more than three hours of testimony, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee recessed Monday without taking a vote on the constitutional marriage amendment and accompanying bill.

Committee chairman Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, ended the hearing by announcing the members would not be voting so they could weigh the testimony they had heard.

Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, introduced HJR 3, the marriage amendment which bans same-sex unions, and his companion legislation, House Bill 1153, which serves to explain the Legislature’s intent primarily behind the controversial second sentence of the proposed constitutional provision.

The House Chamber and gallery were filled to capacity for the meeting with a large crowd gathered standing outside in the Statehouse hallway. Many of the opponents of the amendment and bill wore red shirts and blue stickers printed with the logo for Freedom Indiana, an organization working to defeat the amendment.

Executives from Cummins Inc., Eli Lilly and Co., the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and Indiana University spoke in opposition of the amendment and bill. They and others against the proposals emphasized the measures would hurt the state’s efforts to compete in the global market and recruit top talent to Indiana.

They also framed the debate as being about a civil rights issue, asserting the amendment discriminated against a particular segment of society.  

Supporters of the measure included outside groups Alliance Defending Freedom and Heritage Foundation as well as Indiana organizations of Advance America and the Indiana Family Institute.

They emphasized the state had an interest in defining marriage as between one man and one woman because this creates the most stable environment in which to raise children. In addition, they argued that businesses would not be harmed and that domestic partner benefits would not be endangered by the amendment.

Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee were active in questioning Turner and supporters of the amendment. Republican members did not pose any questions to any of the participants.

If the proposed amendment is passed by both the Indiana House and Senate this session, the measure will appear on the November ballot.

Opponents urged the Judiciary Committee to vote against the proposal, saying the debate alone would harm Indiana. Supporters framed the debate as part of the democratic process, saying the Legislature and residents should have the right to define marriage instead of the courts.
 

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  1. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  2. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  3. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  4. I totally agree with John Smith.

  5. An idea that would harm the public good which is protected by licensing. Might as well abolish doctor and health care professions licensing too. Ridiculous. Unrealistic. Would open the floodgates of mischief and abuse. Even veteranarians are licensed. How has deregulation served the public good in banking, for example? Enough ideology already!

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