Wednesday, March 16, 2005

jim crow in the 21st century

Indianaplis Star columnist Ruth Holladay yesterday became the only media commentator in Indiana that I've come across who talks about the effects of the proposed constitutional ban on same sex marriages that is now working its way through the Indiana Assembly. Most commentators talk about its inevitability and then politely move on.

She wrote:

The measure would allow Indiana to add a constitutional amendment defining
marriage as between a man and a woman.

This, even though we already have a law that bans same-sex
marriage. But that's not all. In a spirit of overkill, the bill also will
ensure that gay people in Indiana never, ever get a chance at domestic
partnerships or civil unions or anything resembling a covenant. Thus they
will be denied tax rights enjoyed by married couples, denied Social Security
death benefits and in general be second-class citizens.

This is on top of an already punitive reality -- gays in Indiana are
excluded from civil rights protection. They can be fired from jobs and denied
housing and public accommodations on the basis of sexuality.


James said...

Wow. Remind me never to go to Indiana! Not that I'm gay, or was planning to go there, but still...

Don said...

james -- I think there are only 13 or so states in the entire country that provide equal job protection for gay and lesbian folk.

The move to create constitutional amendments banning same sex marriages is active in several states as well as at the federal level. I am not sure the federal one will ever pass, but there has not been one successful attempt to stop such a constitutional ban once it has gone to a public vote.

In some states, like Virginia, they have carried the ban to also include any contractual agreements created between two partners of the same sex that could be identified in anyway as a committed sexual partnership.

This is Jim Crow all over. Just a different set of folk.