Thanks for saying in your column (Indiana Lawyer March 30-April 12, 2011) what I hope many of us Hoosiers are thinking and feeling about the proposed immigration and same-sex marriage legislation. In particular, as a married father of two, I am puzzled regarding why our legislators feel compelled to spend valuable time working to enact more same-sex marriage laws that we do not need. Don’t we have more pressing business at hand? I have to conclude, as you do, that blatant prejudice, homophobia and intolerance are driving these efforts. I have not heard or read of any compelling legal justification for more regulation of same-sex marriage, and morality is not an area where lawmakers should intrude. I would rather see our General Assembly work on a law providing same-sex couples access to the rights and privileges that married couples enjoy by legalizing same-sex marriage, or civil union, etc., whatever label will avoid the most controversy and provide dissolution, custody, child support and related rights to these Hoosiers.
Unfortunately, your column reinforces for me how shameful and embarrassing it will be if Indiana passes an Arizona-like immigration law and even more anti-same-sex marriage laws. The jokes I hear about Indiana being so backward and unsophisticated will, I suppose, be appropriate. The negative impact on Indiana in terms of attracting and keeping businesses just makes the shame and embarrassment costly, too. I have become a supporter of Gov. Daniels, despite being a longtime Democratic voter, because of his shrewd, business-like approach to running this state; he seems genuinely earnest in his belief that Indiana needs to reinvent itself as a state where businesses want to be. I just wonder why he cannot prevail upon the legislators pushing these issues to leave well enough alone. I am proud to have been a Hoosier my entire life, but nothing about these proposed laws makes me proud.
Alan J. Irvin