Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

September 4, 2013

Is diversity a strength or a threat?

INDIANAPOLIS -- In a recent column I wrote when visiting Washington, D.C., as the city was preparing to host the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington, I asked the question: “Will we see diversity as a threat to our seemingly secure world? Or embrace it as a strength?”

I posed the question in reference to Indiana’s changing demographics. As recent U.S. Census Bureau numbers show, we’re trending toward greater racial and ethnic diversity, which will likely only accelerate in the years to come as the most racially and ethnically diverse age group — Hoosiers under 5 —grows up.

Expect the same question to be posed to Hoosiers in coming months by the growing coalition of opponents to House Joint Resolution 6, the proposed constitutional amendment that would put the state’s current ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution and expand it to cover same-sex civil unions.

The coalition, called Freedom Indiana, is rapidly expanding its presence out of the state’s capitol city and into communities around Indiana by building the kind of grassroots campaign that can knock traditional political power off its pedestal. (Think of the grassroots campaign of political novice Glenda Ritz, who with little money or name recognition, took down her well-funded, incumbent opponent in last year’s race for Superintendent of Public Instruction.)

Freedom Indiana is asking supporters to reach out to friends, neighbors and family members (and their Facebook friends, Twitter followers and other social media connections) and do something simple: Start a conversation about why HJR-6 doesn’t jibe with the Hoosier Hospitality sentiment we claim to embrace.

The task for Freedom Indiana is to change the hearts and minds of the 50 percent of Hoosiers voters, who according to an April poll by Howey Politics Indiana, support the constitutional amendment. In changing those hearts and minds, Freedom Indiana hopes to pressure legislators who supported the proposed amendment when it came up last year to change their vote when the issue comes up again next year.

To stop the proposed amendment from going on the 2014 ballot, Freedom Indiana needs to stop the legislature from voting for HJR-6 a second time.

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.

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    July 23, 2014

  • They've been known to pick a song or two Someone I know — I don't even remember who — used to have a "You may be a Redneck if ..." daily calendar. One day it read: You may be a Redneck if your mother has a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt.

    July 23, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens urgency of lawmaker’s mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January. The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying in-state tuition to attend state colleges and universities.

    July 23, 2014

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    July 23, 2014

  • A bee, or not to be It’s weird that while working in my garden I am always looking for insect damage as a positive sign. I spotted lots of torn leaves on my Dutchman’s Pipevine and was pleased. The vine is a larval food source — caterpillar food — for the Pipevine Swallowtail, one of Indiana’s many swallowtail butterflies.

    July 16, 2014

  • Basements aren’t just for tornadoes anymore The Lutheran church ladies are back in town at Beef & Boards performing “A Mighty Fortress is Our Basement.” The show runs through Aug. 17.

    July 16, 2014

  • Road to funding Indiana highways jammed If you’ve driven on either of Indiana’s two busiest interstates recently, you’ll understand why a blue-ribbon commission last week called for adding traffic lanes to those harrowing highways.

    July 16, 2014

  • Extension Service celebrates turning 100 On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service as a nonformal educational program designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. In recognition of 2014 being the centennial year of the Extension Service, Purdue Extension – Boone County will commemorate the milestone with activities and displays at this year’s Boone County Fair.

    July 16, 2014

  • Vacation workout can be simple, convenient It’s vacation time, so many of my customers are requesting workouts they can do while on vacation to stay in shape. The tricky part is 1.) knowing what kind of equipment they will have, and 2.) if it’s too complicated, they won’t do it. So I like to keep it as simple as possible to minimize both of those barriers.

    July 9, 2014

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