Indiana Equality Action wishes to congratulate the people of New York for securing the right of ALL New Yorkers to enter into legally recognized civil marriages. This movement towards full equality for LGBT citizens was the result of a massive grassroots effort with New York at the epicenter and with support from people across the country.
As New York moves further towards full equality for all, we in Indiana cannot help but note the stark differences in the reality of the quality of life for those who are LGBT.
Indiana Equality Action continues to work to educate and empower people in an effort to keep HJR-6 off the ballot. HJR-6, the proposed amendment to Article 1 of our state’s Constitution, not only reiterates the statute already on Indiana’s books and upheld in the courts stating that marriage is between one man and one woman, but it has far-reaching implications rooted in the ambiguity of the second sentence:
A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.
With that second sentence, HJR-6 would also:
• Bar similar legal structures such as civil unions and would write discrimination into Indiana’s Constitution—an unprecedented act.
• Threaten domestic partnership benefits and wipe out the ability of our future lawmakers to recognize anything remotely resembling marriage for LGBT couples. It could make legal agreements these couples may have concerning, for example, what happens when one party dies, how their joint property is treated, and hospital visitation rights unenforceable because they are “a legal status substantially similar to marriage.”
• Endanger other legal protections for unmarried families, both gay and straight. It has raised considerable concerns among both public and private employers that domestic partnership benefit programs may be invalidated because they are “substantially similar” to those of marriage. This would limit their ability to compete for an educated, talented work force.
We are counting on you, your friends, your family, and all those who love you to fight bias and discrimination in Indiana!
• Contact your legislators today telling them to, “Nix Six!” Share with them your reasons why this matters. It is very difficult to disagree with one’s personal experiences. It is important to keep our voices and issues front and center!
• Discuss HJR-6 with your family and friends. Lots of good people are unaware this is even happening. It is our job to talk with them, to engage them in conversation. Ask:
If there is a vote to amend Indiana’s constitution to take away the rights of LGBT people, will you vote against it?
• Visit our website to educate yourself and others regarding HJR-6. Distribute the documents on the website widely, either by email, photocopying and sharing at allied events, posting on social networks, or in whatever other manner helps spread the word. Thank you in advance!
And finally, help support the fight for LGBT equality. Sign up for Indiana Equality Action’s email alerts, make a donation to support the tireless efforts in the fight for equality, and become a member of Indiana Equality today!
Indiana Equality Action is PROUD to work alongside you and the rest of our wonderful queer and allied family to assure that Indiana is a place where we can work, live and love free of bias and discrimination.