Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma (R) is so insistent about advancing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage just sacrificed a member of the Republican Party to ensure it passes the chamber he oversees.
Last week, the House Judiciary Committee heard testimony for and against the amendment, but then avoided voting on it. It seems that despite the Republicans’ majority, the committee didn’t have the votes to pass it. Bosma offered a subtle threat that anyone who voted against it could lose their seat on the committee. Avoiding either outcome, Bosma has simply swapped the resolution to the Elections And Apportionment Committee, which will consider it Wednesday afternoon. Presumably, he expects that committee will provide the outcome he wants.
As reported by The Bilerico Project, this prompted Andrew Markle, a gay Republican running for state representative from the Indianapolis area, to abandon his campaign and quit the Republican Party. Here’s how Markle explained his decision on Facebook:
Today is a day that will never be forgotten in the hearts of many Hoosiers, including my own. For the past few years, we have seen political posturing occur over a divisive amendment that has been the subject of great scrutiny by constitutional lawyers, economists, business persons and even politicians. We have seen a state divide over an issue that should have never been an issue. We have seen a state full of hospitality become a breeding ground for inequality and a debate that does not show the true values that the Hoosier State encompasses.
It deeply saddens me to see the state that I have called home for the past 8 years plunge into a debate over a minority group’s civil rights.
It is with a heavy heart but with a clear conscience that I announce the end of my run for Indiana State House of Representatives, District 99, as a Republican. With today’s announcement by House Speaker Brian Bosma, that he is using extraordinary and unprecedented rules to change House Joint Resolution 3′s committee assignment, I have no choice but to resign my candidacy as a Republican.
As an openly gay male and a conservative, I find it deplorable that the state would choose to take such extraordinary measures to disenfranchise me and my fellow LGBT brothers and sisters. In an era where my party declared that it was the party of “small government” and “less intrusion”, it has been confirmed that it is not the party of small government or less intrusion.
I am not leaving the Republican Party; the Republican Party has left me.
Markle’s announcement mirrors a similar announcement made last week by Jimmy LaSalvia, co-founder of the gay conservative group GOProud that splintered off from the Log Cabin Republicans. According to LaSalvia, Party leaders “lack the courage to stand up to” the “tolerance of bigotry.” In a recent interview with Michelangelo Signorile, LaSalvia specified that Republican National Committee chairman Reince Preibus once told him that he was afraid of getting “a phone call from Tony Perkins” if the Party distanced itself from anti-gay rhetoric.