Lawmaker Calls LGBTs ’Intolerant,’ Legislators Laugh
A conservative Indiana lawmaker sent the House Judiciary Committee into fits of paroxysm when he accused those of supporting marriage equality "intolerant."
According to The Raw Story, Hoosier Jim Bopp had lawmakers laughing when he said he was perplexed as to why opponents would be against a constitutional ban if same-sex marriage were already illegal in the state.
"It can only be because [the existing ban is] vulnerable," he insisted. "They want the option of getting what they actually want, which is to change the definition marriage. And the very vulnerability of a statute as opposed to a constitutional amendment affords them a greater opportunity to get that job done."
As he continued his stream of anti-gay rhetoric, he alleged that a simple debate over gay marriage was so offensive that they would threaten to move out of the state, calling it a "direct attack upon democracy."
"Even more troubling though was an argument made by one who said that the simple debate on the marriage amendment will do the damage," said Bopp. "Well, what does that tell you? That there are some people that are so intolerant of other people’s views that a simple debate..."
That’s as far as Bopp got before his peers and those in attendance burst into laughter over the irony of his statement. Bopp was reportedly forced to rescind his seat in the Republican National Committee in 2012. But as a legal advisor to the Citizens United SCOTUS case, the Democratic Underground advises that Bopp should not be underestimated.
He has also pushed for a "Republican litmus test" requiring candidates to meet "core conservative principles," and advocating to change the Democratic Party to the "Democrat Socialist Party."
The state also tried to pass a gay marriage ban in 2005, when similar legislation passed both the House and Senate before failing when Democrats took control of the State House in 2006.
The Associated Press reported, the House Judiciary Committee had delayed a vote on a proposal to amend Indiana’s constitution to ban gay marriage or anything "similar" to gay marriage. Supporters had said that the amendment was needed to protect against court decisions overturning the existing state ban on gay marriage.
According to the Journal Gazette, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee unexpectedly delayed a vote on the proposed ban, saying that committee members wanted more than three hours to reflect on the legislation, as the wording in part of the resolution could not only ban same-sex marriage, but also civil unions, health care benefits, human rights ordinances and even domestic violence laws affecting unmarried individuals.
Winnie McCroy is the Women on the EDGE Editor, HIV/Health Editor, and Assistant Entertainment Editor for EDGE Media Network, handling all women’s news, HIV health stories and theater reviews throughout the U.S. She has contributed to other publications, including The Village Voice, Gay City News, Chelsea Now and The Advocate, and lives in Brooklyn, New York, where she writes about local restaurants in her food blog, http://brooklyniscookin.blogspot.com/