The Republicans regained control of the Indiana General Assembly by campaigning heavily on unemployment/jobs. They have been in session for slightly more than a month. These are the subjects of the primary bills that have advanced so far:
- A bill to write an amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage to prohibit same sex marriages and civil unions, AND goes so far as to prohibit private companies from offering domestic partner benefits.
- A bill to promote charter schools that some say will decimate the public education system and encourage enrollment in parochial schools.
- A bill to make it illegal for an employer to ask his/her employees if they have guns at the workplace.
- A bill requiring all doctors to tell, in writing and verbally, all women seeking abortions that “life begins at conception,” whether said doctors believe this or not.
- An Arizona-like bill that would allow police to demand proof of citizenship from immigrants.
How many bills have advanced about jobs? ZERO.
Do you want to know my feelings on the anti-gay marriage bill? You’ll be surprised. I have no feelings about it. This is the fourth time a bill like this has been introduced since I’ve lived in this state. On the previous occasions, I have been on the front lines keeping it from passing. I have stood in the snow at statehouse rallies; I have canvassed neighborhoods talking to businesses about why this kind of legislation would hurt them; I have pulled out my checkbook time and again at fundraisers and events; I have called my representatives; taken time off of work to personally visit my representatives; and rallied my friends over and over to do the same. I’m done. This debate is going to be going on in this state until a) we are all long dead, b) national legislation or the U.S. Supreme Court acts on the federal level, or c) the Republican party gets its way.
As for the other pieces of legislation? In a sick and twisted way, this is all helping me. You’re aware that Jay and I have had a plan to eventually move on in search of a bigger city with more opportunities for artists. But now? I can’t get out of this state fast enough. Thanks to the bigoted douche bags in charge, who think that guns and the Bible will solve every problem and homosexuals, the brown people, and a well-educated populace are enemies number one, two, and three, Jay and I have a renewed fire under our collective asses. It’s like all the reasons we’ve talked about moving are amplified, or being thrown in our faces.
I want to be a resident of another state by mid-summer at the absolute latest. And we have moved into a much more aggressive phase of making this happen, which involves a new realtor (to be selected next week, after interviews), new job opportunities, and a much more focused plan. By luck and coincidence, it appears that we’re taking four of our best friends with us. And while I’ve never been an “abandon ship” kind of person (you can live anywhere you choose, and my decision to leave is not a personal reflection on you), I don’t think this would be the right time for any like-minded person to come to me seeking reasons to stay in Indiana. For a state that’s been worried about “brain drain” in the past, I’m afraid we haven’t seen anything, yet.
Okay, I’m done ranting. It’s been a long time since I’ve written a political diatribe like this. I almost feel the need to apologize for it. I’ll do my best to get back to my usual posting material tomorrow.