In his State of the State address last week, Gov. Mike Pence re-affirmed his support of HJR-3 by saying he believes in traditional marriage. He went on to say that no one, on either side of the debate, “Deserves to be disparaged or maligned because of who they are or what they believe.”
HE’S RIGHT, but “disparage” and “malign” is exactly what HJR-3 proposes with its constitutional ban. “Disparage” means to regard or represent as being of little worth. “Malign” means evil in nature or effect, malevolent. Both of those words flow mightily in the undercurrent of this legal language.
Heterosexuals and homosexuals coexist every day. They work together, pick through the same produce at the grocery store, attend family dinners together and even worship in the same pews together. For a state to spell out an insensitive and inaccurate inferiority either way is wrong in our eyes.
If HJR-3 ends up being inked into Indiana’s defining document, it will only serve to increase the divide between otherwise largely agreeable human parties. And eventually, years down the road — maybe not many — Hoosiers will come to see HJR-3 as the black mark of discrimination it actually is, an outdated tattoo we will long regret.