News and Tribune


July 1, 2013

HAYDEN: HJR6’s support comes from fear of political harm



The legislature already voted on it once, back in 2011. But the resolution has to get approved again to get on the November 2014 ballot.  

When HJR 6 was stalled earlier this year pending the high court’s decisions, I had Republican and Democrat legislators alike who voted for it last time tell me that someone they know and love is gay. I heard stories — told only on the promise they wouldn’t be reported — of beloved siblings, much-loved nephews, favorite cousins, and dear friends who were not only gay but who were living in loving relationships. 

Then why not oppose HJR6, I would ask. And the off-the-record answer, almost always, had to do with politics and their perception that a “no” vote would harm them in their next campaign. On the record, they’d duck the question and say: Hoosiers should have the right to vote on it.  Expect to hear that line again and again in the months to come. 

Someone I know and love is gay: My “baby” brother, who is one of the nine O’Connor siblings raised by my Catholic parents in a long-lived traditional marriage. 

That brother and his partner of 28 years have what I and the rest of my siblings believe is the happiest and healthiest of relationships of all of us. It’s certainly one of the longest and most stable in the family. 

Earlier this month, they officially tied the knot when marriage equality finally became law in the place where they live. For the life of me, I don’t understand how that commitment to each other does anything to undermine the institution of marriage. 


Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at 

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