Tuesday, April 03, 2007

death of an amendment

i wasn't really online for much of the day, as i spent the rainy day afternoon watching old episodes of battlestar galactica on dvd until it was time for virago to come home, and then we began watching mtv jams. then it occurred to me... what about the amendment? SJR-7 was supposed to be up for committee vote today.

fortunately, one of the perks of political blogging is that once you start getting noticed, you start getting press releases in the mail. i'm sure this grows to be a real curse for big-name bloggers, but me, i just get 'em every once in awhile.

so a little while ago, i received this in an email from mark st john:

Indiana Equality announced today that the Indiana House of Representative's Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee voted five to five on Senate Joint Resolution 7 (SJR-7). As a result, the amendment will not be brought for a vote by the full House of Representatives and will not be voted upon by the Indiana General Assembly.

"We applaud the members of the Committee who voted against SJR-7 for their courageous action, and for standing up for the countless Hoosiers and their families who would have faced needless discrimination," said Jon Keep, president of Indiana Equality. "For the last two years, Indiana Equality and our coalition partners have worked to build an alliance representing a number of diverse interests to join us in our opposition to SJR-7. Today, we are seeing the impact this alliance has made for greater equality in our state."

On March 22, the Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee took testimony from SJR-7's proponents and opponents. During the hearing, legislators heard from top Indiana companies, like Cummins Inc. and WellPoint, Inc., regarding their concerns that SJR-7 would have a negative impact on recruiting and retaining top talent to work in Indiana's thriving economy. In addition to the economic development perspective, Indiana Equality also recruited constitutional scholars, religious leaders, academic professionals, and domestic violence advocates to speak out against the amendment.

"We also want to thank the many businesses, organizations, and individuals who stood with us in opposing SJR-7," Keep continued. "They were instrumental in making the case that an amendment defining marriage had no business jeopardizing economic development, threatening the security of domestic violence victims, and stripping our citizens of important rights."

i can't stress what a major victory this was. i wasn't sure this was possible, even after the state's five largest employers came out against the amendment. i feared that, at best, we could get that second sentence out of there before it passed the house. but no, we really won this one. the wingnuts are sure to be furious.

as i suspected, advance indiana, bilerico, and TDW all have posts up, as i suspect will many others soon, throughout indiana and beyond.

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