(Indiana) Republicans’ LGBT protections bill draws criticism on both sides

(Yesterday GOP presidential candidate Bobby Jindal suspended his campaign as noted here. – Admin.) IndyStar.com By Tony Cook, Stephanie Wang and Chelsea Schneider 11/17/15 Republicans unveil sexual orientation, gender identity bill In the opening salvo of what is likely to be … Continue reading

Goshen, Indiana is a flashpoint in LGBT rights fight

Battle in small town signals upcoming statewide debate How a small Indiana city became a gay rights battleground IndyStar.com By Stephanie Wang 8/3/15 GOSHEN — In a cradle of conservatism about 150 miles northeast of Indianapolis, a powerful lobbyist stood … Continue reading

Conservative lawmakers weigh bid to call for constitutional convention

(Howey Politics Indiana has written about this topic and stated, “Indiana Senate President Pro Tempore David Long is a driving force behind a provision in the U.S. Constitution that allows states to call such a convention. His motivation is an end-around Congress to forge a constitutional balanced budget amendment.” [more] – Admin.)

The Washington Post
By Reid Wilson

Conservative state legislators frustrated with the gridlock in Washington are increasingly turning to a plan to call a convention to consider a new amendment to the U.S. Constitution — an event that would be unprecedented in American history and one that could, some opponents predict, lead to complete political chaos.

Legislators in 27 states have passed applications for a convention to pass a balanced budget amendment. Proponents of a balanced budget requirement are planning to push for new applications in nine other states where Republicans control both chambers of the legislature.

If those applications pass in seven of the nine targeted states, it would bring the number of applications up to 34, meeting the two-thirds requirement under Article V of the Constitution to force Congress to call a convention.

What happens next is anyone’s guess.
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The 8 days since “Religious Freedom” passage March 26th: ANALYSIS & REFLECTION

Today the Indianapolis Star published a six page spread examining the multi-faceted upheavel that was triggered by the Indiana Legislature upon the original passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act when signed by Governor Mike Pence on March 26, 2015.
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Sign: “No Gays Allowed” – Does Indiana law allow this? GOP leadership responds

This morning Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and President Pro Tem of the Indiana State Senate David Long met with the press for about 27 minutes and responded to questions. The following 75 second clip from the press conference includes a questioner asked if putting a “No Gays Allowed” sign up in a window would be against current Indiana law and Bosma answered and also referred to a “human rights ordinance.” Also, David Long commented, “We don’t support discrimination against anyone in this state.”

The entire 27 minute press conference is below.

Your thoughts from analyzing the entire press conference?

What should Indiana do?

Guest column: More than an elected office at stake in attack on Ritz

(Minor editing was done for readability. – Admin.)

John Gregg

John Gregg is a Democrat who served as speaker of the Indiana House and president of Vincennes University.

Special to The StatehouseFile.com
Guest Column
By John Gregg

On a cold January morning in 2001, I stood outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington DC with my two sons, then ages 8 and 7 to witness the inauguration of President George W. Bush.

As the ceremony began, my older son asked me “Dad why are we here, we’re Democrats?” As the crowd around us looked, then laughed, I told my sons we were there to witness the something uniquely American: the peaceful transfer of power. Americans may disagree with a candidate’s political philosophy, but we always respect the outcome of an election. It’s a bedrock principle of our great democracy.

In November of 2012, I experienced this up close and personal. After a long and hard fought election for governor, Hoosier voters chose Mike Pence over me. And while he certainly wasn’t my first choice, I accepted the decision and respected the will of the majority.

In that same election, Hoosiers made another choice. In very clear fashion, voters said they didn’t like what incumbent Republican Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett was doing to public education in Indiana. They voted him out and voted Glenda Ritz in.

The governor and Republican majority in the Statehouse did not like, nor respect Superintendent Ritz’s hard earned victory. And, while they can’t undo the results of the actual election, through power grab after power grab they are doing essentially the same thing – and that’s not only wrong, it’s dangerous.

If the governor and the Republicans in the General Assembly want to make the superintendent an appointed position or make any other changes to the Department of Education, let’s have a public discussion about them that includes all the interested parties. Ramming these major changes through without public input just because you don’t like the voter’s choice is no way to make sound public policy or instill confidence in state government.

Our country and our system of government works because of that time honored idea of a peaceful transfer of power from one person to the next and, in some cases, one political party to another.  Unlike so many other countries, we don’t have riots, revolutions or violence. We hold faith in the process and the people’s vote.

And when you don’t like the policy or people in a particular office, you don’t attempt a coup or refuse to accept their legitimacy to hold office; you get ready for the next election and work to vote them out.

The tactics on display in the Indiana Statehouse to neuter a duly elected office holder on personal and political grounds are a gross subversion of our most basic democratic principles. And, regardless of your political party or your position on the issues facing Indiana schools, all Hoosiers should also be alarmed.

John Gregg is a Democrat and former speaker of the Indiana House. He’s also a former president of Vincennes University and ran for governor in 2012.

Long cuts short Pence’s chance to run for 2 offices

The Journal Gazette
Niki Kelly

INDIANAPOLIS – A legislative effort to allow Gov. Mike Pence to run for both governor and president in 2016 was short-lived, as Senate President Pro Tem David Long, on Tuesday “parked” the bill in Senate Rules Committee to die. “You need to make up your mind,” Long, of Fort Wayne said. “Choose the job you are going to run for.” Under current law, Pence would not be allowed to be on the ballot for two offices at once. Long said when he ran for State Senate he did not seek re-election to the Fort Wayne City Council because he felt the public had a right to pick who would serve. “I feel very strongly our laws are just fine the way they are,” he said. “Our leaders have chosen for years. If they want to run for an office it’s a decision they have to make. They’ll have to let somebody else take their place. I think that’s the best system.” Earlier in the day, Pence said he did not know of the bill – filed by Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel – until he read a newspaper account… (more)