HJR 1: Nothing is certain but gay marriage and taxes?

Speaking of germaneness and poison pills, Rep. Turner is seeking to amend House Joint Resolution 1. HJR 1 is the proposed “circuit breaker” amendment to the Indiana Constitution. It would allow the General Assembly to impose property taxes that are not uniform and equal in certain cases and would cap property taxes at 1% of owner occupied residential home value; 2% of renter occupied residential value; and 3% of any other real property value.

Apparently forgetting House Rule 80 requiring amendments to be germane, Rep. Turner has filed an amendment that would tack the anti-gay marriage amendment onto HJR 1.

(And, just for the record, I call it the “anti-gay marriage amendment” as a sort of short hand. But that fails to capture the true horror of this proposed amendment. Remember that its second subsection really ties the hands of the legislature to define the rights of any unmarried couple. “This Constitution or any other Indiana law may not be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples or groups.” The fairest reading of this text is that, if married couples have a legal privilege of some sort, a court cannot enforce any law passed by the General Assembly that attempts to confer the same privilege on any unmarried couple; same sex or not.)

Presumably the proposed amendment will be ruled not germane to the property tax issue and won’t even get a vote. If that’s the case, Rep. Turner will be saved from himself. I can only imagine the hell he’d have to pay if property taxpayers in his district figured out that property tax restructuring failed because Rep. Turner was obsessed with the gays.

(Suddenly I have the Tootsie Roll jingle going through my head: “Whatever it is I think I see, becomes like gay marriage to me”).


  1. IndyBar says

    While there may be significant support for the property tax cirsuit breaker, there is no doubt that there will be at least 1 detractor who would challenge it it. There will certainly be people that would litigate the anti-gay amendment. Even if the amendment is not ruled out of order by the speaker (and I think a simple majority can override his ruling), wouldn’t the germaneness issue create an argument for people to challenge both portions of the amendment? If the answer is yes, then the morons pushing for this are delaying property tax reform for what…3 or more years for a Supreme Court challenge to play out? Idiots.

  2. says

    I wasn’t really thinking of the Constitutional germaneness issue – (Article 4, sec. 19) but more about the House Rules. I don’t think a citizen can challenge passage of a law for not complying with the internal rules of the legislative body.

    House Rule 80 says:

    No motion or proposition on a subject not germane to that under consideration shall be admitted under color of an amendment.

    I forget what the internal procedure is for determining whether a proposed amendment is germane. It may be that the chair can decide on germaneness himself or he can put the question to a voice vote — asking that those who think it’s germane say “aye” and those who think not say “no.” — And then it’s up to the chair to decide whether there were more “ayes” or “noes”. (Selective hearing by a chair has been known to occur in such situations.)

  3. Hoosier 1st says

    Isn’t that exactly what Turner and Eric Miller’s minions are seeking? A vote they can hold against the House Dems? Political advantage?

  4. says

    As an astute observer of the machinations of Indiana lawmaking- much like sausagemaking,btw- I dont see what the problem is with linking gays and taxes. After all, havent we all been taking it up the hoo-ha by the taxman for all these years anyway?
    so the way I see things, its perfectly germane to me.
    oops- that part came out wrong.
    but nevertheless, the other part of this issue is the wingnuts obsession with preventing people from having sex/making love, while taking our money for their own use.
    isnt there little enough love in the world as it si anyway? If 2 people find love, whats wrong with that? If there was more love in the world, maybe there’d be less wars over religion. After all, didnt Jesus himself say “Love your fellow man?” snxxx!
    And render unto caesar what is caesar’s?
    Hasnt the man been “sticking it to us” anyway?
    So get over it, whiners. And dont smoke in here either.
    and remember- attend the megachurch of your choice this sabbath, and give till it hurts! pastor’s mistress needs a new pair of shoes!

  5. Brenda says


    Actually, even in Indiana (unless I’m mistaken?) they can have sex, and make love… they just can’t legally commit to each other. Evidently, the wingnuts think it is a better world if people just act like horndogs. None of that taking on of debts, or looking out for medical interests… horrors!

  6. Jason says


    The wingnuts would rather those things be banned as well, but it is the wedge idea. You have to start somewhere.

    A good example is Handgun Control Inc. They supported things like the waiting period. However, the end goal is to make all personal firearms illegal.

  7. Brenda says

    hmm… guess I’m a wingnut on the firearms issue in that case. I was home on New Years Eve for the first time this year and counted at least 20 different-sounding automatic firearms being shot off within hearing distance of my house. Oh joy.

  8. Hoosier 1st says

    SJR7 just passed the Senate this evening. Which means they will send it on to the House once again.

    In the House, we’ll have to see whether this Turner amendment will scuttle property tax reform amendment.

  9. paula says

    ‘Could they form a limited liability corporation?’

    maybe, unless that is considered a ‘legal incident thereof’. Besides, why should I have to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees when some schmuck couple can pick up a marriage license for less than $50 and *still* have more rights than me.

  10. says

    I hate it when logic is irrelevant.Logically,gay marriage would stablize all marriage because any personal agreement,made legal with specific consequences if broken,would solidify any commitment. .no one is eager to go get( and pay) a lawyer to break a legal commitment..Not allowing gays to marry makes promiscuity a logical,easy choice with no legal consequences.The religious right is always fervently in favor of economic consequences for the poor or uniformed who make bad choices,but I see a free pass here for gays on moral issues.I accuse the religious right of promoting promiscuity.

  11. Jason says

    Good points, Lou. Again, to use my firearms example, many times people that are against gun control reject some things that are quite logical becuase they don’t want to give up any ground.

    A good example of that would be mandatory training if you want a personal protection permit. Right now, Indiana MUST issue you a permit to carry a handgun unless they can show a good reason not to. Many other states that allow handguns require training first.

    Many people I know that are against gun control WOULD be for something like this if they knew it would stop there. Training wouldn’t be a bad thing at all. It is giving up ground that they fear.

    Many other examples can be found, from things like a National ID (is it REALLY a bad thing, or do people resist it becuase of what follows?) to prayer in the state house (does a bunch of words to a God you don’t think exist change anything?). No one wants to give up ground becuase of the things behind it, and then logic fails.

  12. says

    I think what you are describing is the ‘slippery slope theory’, It means that if we regulate guns in any way the next step will be total confiscation of all guns and if we allow gay marriage,then right around the corner will be legalized marriages with beasts,and other sorts of bestiality.. But they did use this theory to their own advantage by inventing the term ‘partial birth abortion’,which is the banning abortion late term in hope of setting a precedent for the government to make illegal all abortion.There are probably many other examples.

  13. Jason says

    Oh, exactly, no “side” is blameless. My guess is that all of us have ignored logic becuase of our slippery slope fears. I know I have, but hanging around here has really helped me test my views.

    I’m trying hard to see if I actually have anything against an idea as it stands, or if I don’t like where I think the supporters of an idea are going. It isn’t easy.

  14. says

    Jason posted:I know I have, but hanging around here has really helped me test my views.
    I agree here Jason. Ive always enjoyed hobnobbing with those more educated,more intellectual . I am one of those who isnt intimidated by what I don’t know,as long as Im ‘disabused of my ignorance’ with non personal references. Ive been waiting for the right moment to praise not only Doug for this blog but for everyone who contributes. I look forward to checking out the latest posts every day and it’s a pleasure to post with those who agree and don’t agree in such a non-threatening way. Ive also been made aware of many other worthwhile sites that I also go to.In other venues you have to defend yourself rather than your position.Besides that I’ve always liked Indiana as a place and I’m reminded of my younger days when my family and I used to go to Indianapolis from Champaign-Urbana for the day.


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