Indiana Senate closes gallery over chants of ‘stop hating, stop dividing, stop pandering’

The Indiana Senate is considering legislation that would put the rights of the state’s gay citizens on the ballot. That’s not sitting well. Yesterday, a group of protesters caused the Senate to shut its gallery:

The Senate closed its gallery Monday after protests disrupted a hearing on a proposal to add a ban on gay marriage and civil unions to the state constitution.

Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, ordered the roughly 40 audience members expelled from the Senate balcony after they began chanting “stop hating, stop dividing, stop pandering.”

Senators were considering changes to the measure — proposed by Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson — that would have eliminated the ban on civil unions, so that the constitution would ban only same-sex marriage. Senators voted that idea down 36-11.

The gays aren’t going to play along in Indiana.

The Senate will probably vote on the marriage amendment later this week. But, that’s not the end of it. Before it gets on the ballot, the amendment will have to pass through the House and Senate again in the next session, after the 2012 election.

Between now and then, all those anti-gay legislators better be on their best behavior. Bil Browning is watching. Ask State Rep. Jud McMillin.

On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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