Bilerico and Advance Indiana take Sen. Brandt Hershman to the woodshed on SJR 7 – the amendment that would prohibit same sex marriages and prohibit any marriage rights from being extended to unmarried couples. According to those entries, Hershman’s past statements and attempts at legislation cast doubt on his credibility when he suggests that subsection (b) of the Amendment — the provision limiting the potential rights of unmarried couples — actually wouldn’t change anything. Once again, I think it’s useful to post the actual text of subsection (b):
(b) 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.
Breaking that down to its broadest reading, it says: Indiana law may not be construed to require that the legal incidents of marriage be conferred upon unmarried couples. I don’t know how proponents of the measure get around the interpretation that, if the General Assembly passes a law that conveys a right which is an incident of marriage to an unmarried couple, a court cannot enforce that law. That’s not only a change. That’s a big change.