The Problematic Second Sentence of HJR 6

The Indiana Law Blog posted on tweets by two reporters indicating that Sen. Long is now saying that he’s troubled by the second sentence in HJR 6 and that if he could rewrite the amendment, he’d leave out that sentence.

As the ILB noted, it bears keeping in mind that, in 2011, Senator Lanane offered an amendment that would have kept the first sentence in HJR 6 but would have done away with that clumsy, overreaching language of the second sentence which says, “A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

Here (pdf) is the roll call for Senator Lanane’s amendment. Senator Long was among the 36 senators who voted against that idea.


  1. HoosierOne says

    They’re going to keep pushing it with “the people should voice their opinion”, while trying to have it both ways “if I had my druthers”… what BS!

  2. says

    That second sentence in HJR-6 could potentially reach many commonplace situations for both gay and straight unmarried Hoosiers. Many cohabiting partners, gay and straight, have taken steps to protect their loved ones and themselves with wills, powers of attorney, health care directives, beneficiaries on insurance, and more. I am not predicting that those would in fact happen, but that second sentence opens a massive can of worms.

  3. Don Sherfick says

    Again, as I’ve said many times before, and as Roger Bennett who testified concerning the amendments’ predecessor at hearings in 2007 well said then, the proponents claimed then, and still do, that the primary purpose was to reign in the courts (sinister “unelected activist judges”, and leave the democratically elected lawmakers free to do everything (inclulding full civil unions) except change the definition of marriage itself. As chief Hoosier legal expert for the proposents, Roger pointed out that the prior measure was less restrictive than the language from other states, which he said seemed aimed at the gay rights movement. That language used broad “shall not be recognized” terms. Then (and I suspect to Roger’s great chagrin) Eric Miller, Micah Clark, Curt Smith, and their allies in the GOP leadership altered the language to adopt the very text they were so critical of. Flip flop….duplicity….you be the judge.

  4. guy77money says

    Madness!!!!! Just draft legislation that legalizes gay and lesbian marriages and move on to more important things. The lawyers will win out when you start seeing the divorces filings filling the courts. Hmm I wonder if the divorce rate will be any different then any other marriages.

  5. guy77money says

    At the moment divorce rates are low because it seems to be more upper scale gay and lesbian couples are getting married. These couples have usually have had long committed relationships. Wait till the 18-50 year olds that work at Walmart (pick any low or medium paying job) start getting married and the divorce rate will climb. Cheating, money problems and just we couldn’t get along will change the metric. Human nature doesn’t change just because people choose the other sex.

    • steelydanfan says

      You were basically correct until you started linking it all back to “human nature.”

      The ethnographic record demonstrates quite clearly that there is no such thing.

    • Doug says

      Now this is an interesting question. On the one hand, lower incomes, earlier marriages, and less education are correlated with less stable marriages. On the other hand, I’m reminded of a book that came out three or four years ago about Red State marriages versus Blue State marriages. (See this old blog post).

      One of the concepts was that “In red America, families form adults; in blue America, adults form families.” So, I wonder if, because gay marriage isn’t a red state value, whether same sex couples in both red states and blue states will be more inclined to adopt the “blue state model” — where you start your family only after you have grown up some; maybe lived with the person for awhile and so forth.

      • Stuart says

        In my judgement, the “blue state model” is more functional from the long term, and if gays in both areas adopted it, that would be interesting. This is not, for the most part, an urgent question, because gay couples won’t generally have the lives of kids at risk who were born early in the relationship. When you add a kid into a relationship comprised of very young, immature, poor, poorly educated and dysfunctional people who think that love is long term lust, you have a mess in which folks think the fast easy solution is divorce. On the other hand, the laws notwithstanding, it’s not going to be an easy road for gay couples either. Things get really complicated, as if they weren’t with heterosexual relationships.

  6. Stuart says

    I think guy77money is onto the truth here. The longstanding data show that marriage success is a function of older vs. younger age at marriage, being better educated, financially secure, positive and supportive vs. negative and critical behaviors, and a number of other variables. In a ten minute interview, relying on those variables, one can predict whether the marriage will last. When most gay marriages have those characteristics, you can pretty much predict success, but once younger, poorer, less educated and dysfunctional people marry, hetero or gay, as a group, marriages will tend to head south.

  7. guy77money says

    In my original post I never did take in the huge role children play in divorce. Most gay couples will divorce (unless there are large assets at play) and while they will be hurt financially they still will be able to pick up the pieces and move on. In a hetero divorce for people in the middle and lower class kids usually mean one or both people usually face financial hardship, that in essence causes tremendous stress for all parties involved. This of course causes social issues with single mothers and unconnected fathers and kids who feel caught in the middle of the warring parents.

    So gay marriage will become no fault divorces. I can’t wait to see the television commercials by the gay attorneys! Hmmm Gay Divorce Court! heeee heee heeee

  8. Stuart says

    Yup, children are the heavyweights in these matters and often the ones who suffer the most in a divorce. That’s why they call marriage “matrimoney”– connecting the father and child with the mother.

  9. says

    Update — 11 mayors (including six of Indiana’s 10 largest cities) have spoken out against HJR-6.

    Seven of 11 (including the mayor of West Lafayette) use the word “welcome” or “welcoming.” As in, passing HJR-6 would send a signal Indiana is not welcoming, well, to ANYONE. This is expressed by mayors of both major parties. This also falls into my thinking that HJR-6 and the issue of marriage equality in general IS a jobs issue, in that if you want to attract talent, you have to send a signal you are welcome to new ideas. And shorthand for that right now, like it or not, is support of marriage equality.

  10. Stuart says

    Hold it! If I’m going to have a colleague, HE needs to think like me, look like me, and be just like me. Anyone else gives reason for suspicion, because they may not be easy to work with, may make me feel inferior, and in the long run, may earn more than me, all of which makes me feel very uncomfortable at my minimum wage job.

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