Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

December 20, 2013

Dec. 20, 2013: Letters to the editor

Kokomo Tribune

---- — Amendment fight is about justice for all

In January, state lawmakers will gather in Indianapolis to consider a piece of legislation that will destroy Hoosier families and send the message our state is an unwelcoming place to live, study and work.

HJR-6 is a proposed amendment to the Indiana Constitution that would permanently define marriage (which is already defined as between one man and one woman under state law) and make it impossible for same-sex and unmarried couples to ever receive any protections.

It would even prevent domestic partnerships and civil unions, and no one has any idea what effect it would have on health care coverage, human rights ordinances and other benefits offered by public and private employers.

I serve as the statewide coordinator for Parents, Families, & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG). We have nine chapters across the state, and we’ve been working for years to make sure all LGBT Hoosiers are treated with dignity and respect.

My son, Matthew, is gay. He is the most important person in my life, and I cannot bear the thought that this amendment will make his life more difficult. It makes me sad to know if HJR-6 passes, it will send the message to LGBT Hoosiers they are second-class citizens. My son is not a second-class citizen, and you can bet I’m going to fight to protect him. What mom wouldn’t?

But HJR-6 doesn’t just affect LGBT Hoosiers and their families. It’s an issue that touches everyone who shares a commitment to Indiana’s future and the well-being of all who choose to call our state home.

That’s why parents like me have been working with Freedom Indiana, the statewide organization fighting the amendment, to spread the word HJR-6 is bad law, and Hoosiers should fight its passage.

The goal of Freedom Indiana is simple: build a bipartisan, grassroots coalition to stop the amendment. We’ve helped make tens of thousand of phone calls and write thousands of letters to lawmakers to let lawmakers know HJR-6 will divide our state when we should be working together to tackle issues that will improve the quality of life for everyone.

As a mom and a volunteer, I made a vow I would do everything in my power to stop this amendment from getting voted into the Indiana Constitution, and I hope you share that commitment.

This holiday season, as you gather with friends and family, remember this debate is about more than protections for same-sex couples: It’s about justice for all.

Annette Gross


If we go to prayer, will God forgive us?

Our country is unraveling. Civility is on the decline. People are losing trust in each other and their government. All of this is being brought about because we are on a journey to delete God from our society as a whole.

The deletion of God began back in the ’60s when God was forced out of our schools. Atheists, with the help of the ACLU, are on a campaign to destroy any semblance of a spiritual country.

There was a time when America was the bastion for religious freedom for those escaping from governmental tyranny in Europe. The authors of our Constitution based it on Judeo-Christian principles, but today’s liberal lawyers and judges are gradually, slowly, eroding this truth.

Youth crime is up. Disputes once settled by fistfights have now downgraded into a killing field. God has been deleted from government grounds, i.e., Ten Commandments, Nativity scenes and crosses, through erroneous lawsuits based on an untruth: “separation of church and state.” The truth is, early presidents have used federal funds to establish churches and encourage faith.

Drug use is on the increase, and our jails and prisons are overcrowded with offenders who have been guilty of drug-induced crimes. Is it no wonder when a nation turns from God it unravels with crime and distrust?

When a nation turns to military power instead of relying on God, its unraveling will only increase. Previous governments that were once world powers have been brought down because of strife within. These nations also relied on their military prowess, but they were overcome. America is witnessing this same kind of strife today, with a government that has no regard for God and the principles of Judaism and Christianity.

Can we go to prayer and ask God to forgive us? The Old Testament indicated a nation can become so evil that God told its prophets not to even pray for their country. Consequently, God rendered his vengeance upon the nation.

Is America at that crossroads now? Only time will tell for sure.

Melvin E. Armstrong