Thursday, December 15, 2005

Indy Councilors Report Threats On HRO Vote

At least three 3 Indianapolis city-county councilors report receiving threatening e-mail messages concerning their votes on Proposal 622, the Human Rights Ordinance, according to the Star. The councilors mentioned in the article include HRO supporters, Scott Keller (R) and Steve Talley (D), as well as the undecided Patrice Abdullah (D).

The anti-gay bigoted head of the American Family Association, Micah Clark, tipped his hood to Indianapolis’ GLBT community’s efforts in support of the HRO. The Star reported: “Clark said that this time, gay rights groups were doing a much better job of galvanizing their supporters. He said it's unfortunate that some people have gone too far in supporting or opposing the proposal. ‘This is a very divisive and emotional issue,’ Clark said. ‘It's hot, and you're going to get people coming out of the woodwork on both sides. The hurt feelings could resonate a long time.’”

Talk about hypocrisy. No one has gone to further extremes in opposing the HRO than Clark. His communications to his members and to the councilors have been chucked full of outright lies and impassioned pleas that have undeniably played on people’s fears and prejudices.

Indiana Equality Region 8 chairman, Bill Browning, tells the Star that “[h]e said he's had success in inviting council members to meet with small gatherings of ordinance supporters in private, which Steve Talley agreed has “more impact.”

Patrice Abdullah estimates that he’s received at least 1,500 letters, faxes and e-mails concerning the HRO. Abdullah told the Star he is dividing the responses between supporters and opponents to determine which way he will vote, and that he is discarding those responses he receives from outside his district.

The Star article mentions that Abdullah acknowledged that “[s]tudies show his Downtown district has the highest percentage of gays and transgender residents." That acknowledgement is somewhat of a turnabout for him. Abdullah voted against the HRO, citing his Islamic religious beliefs, last April.

While meeting with a small gathering of HRO supporters awhile back, Abdullah astonishingly said that is faith calls for the execution of people who practice homosexuality. Abdullah also told Advance Indiana editor Gary R. Welsh a few weeks ago prior to a council meeting that “sixty-seven percent of my people” oppose the HRO, and that he would not bow to threats from homosexual activists to defeat him in the next election, leaving no indication that he had changed his position on the HRO.

More recently, Abdullah told the Star that he might be the 16th vote for the HRO if it achieved the requisite majority required for its passage, but that he would not cast the deciding vote for it. Perhaps Allah is finally shining some light on Abdullah.

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