News From Terre Haute, Indiana

November 24, 2013

READERS' FORUM: Nov. 25, 2013

The Tribune-Star

---- — Bosma wrong on marriage debate

I am not the media. I am a Hoosier who is voicing his values.

House Speaker Brian Bosma mistakenly classified the volumes of published statements against the proposed amendment to the Indiana constitution HJR 6 to ban gay marriage as stoked by “the media.”

I am not the media. Rob Smith at Eli Lilly, Shannon Kiely-Heider at Cummins Inc., Michael McRobbie at Indiana University, Brian Casey at DePauw University, and Gregory Hess at Wabash College are not the media.

By claiming that the numerous voices speaking out across the state against this unjust legislation are “the media,” Bosma is asking Hoosiers to fall for a rhetorical device known as framing. He is stripping us of our individual voices and instead casting us into a collective abstraction that is often the brunt of political bias: “The media.”

We are not the media. We are individuals and representatives of organizations and institutions who are voicing our values against an immoral law.

Mr. Bosma is also mistaken in claiming that the debate over HJR 6 “is not the most important issue for us by far.” In fact, gay rights issues are the focus of unceasing national debate.

Sixteen states have now approved marriage equality laws, most recently Illinois and Hawaii. The Supreme Court has found the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The U.S. Senate recently voted to prohibit workplace discrimination against gays and lesbians. National polls, state polls and institutional polls have measured the conscience of the public on these issues.

Indeed, gay rights issues — including marriage equality — are the most important human rights issues being debated in the United States since the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.  

For the House Speaker to downplay the importance of this critical legislation is irresponsible at best and unethical at worst. A wise politician would gauge the urgency of any issue by listening to the voices being raised for or against that issue. For the House Speaker to dismiss the voices of concerned Hoosiers as being a manifestation stoked by the media is disingenuous and condescending.

The huge amount of negative opinion expressed about HJR 6 attests to its potential for damaging Indiana’s ability to compete globally for talented workers, for qualified faculty, for gifted students, for quality of life and for the meaning of what it is to be a Hoosier.

— William J. Wilhelm, Ed.D.


Indiana State University

Savings Bank was key event sponsor

West Vigo High School inducted its second class into the Athletic Hall of Fame on Saturday, Nov. 2, in the Jim Mann Green Dome. This night could not have been possible without the sponsorship of Terre Haute Savings Bank.

Thank you to all of those who helped make this night happen.

— Ryan Easton

Hall of Fame Committee

West Vigo High School