TALKING TO CO-WORKERS: Marriage matters in Indiana too

Guest Blogger: Greg Disney-Britton

I climb telephone poles for AT&T, America’s number one phone company and I am just as proud of that as my non-gay co-workers. Also like my co-workers, I feel passionately about marriage. I am part of a work group in Indianapolis where all four members of our team are married, including me and we all talk about our spouses openly and with respect. Being the authentic me with my co-workers has made a big difference in my attitudes about work and it all started when I got married.

I was blessed to find the right man in my life after years of hoping, but we had to make a trip to Canada to be married. It was an awesome experience but it should not have been necessary because we should have had that right here in Indiana. However, if I had not taken the trip and had this special wedding in another country, I would never have realized how important marriage equality was to me and be able to share that with others.

That weekend, I was able to feel just like every other straight American feels on their wedding day. That feeling is so fresh in my heart and it makes me want to share it with everyone I meet. We ran into many couples on our special day in Niagara Falls, and we all wished one another well. They seemed to be all straight couples caught up in the joy of marriage. It was amazing!

I can understand Americans having a difference of opinion on the subject of marriage equality. What I can't understand is how anyone, straight or gay, thinks that marriage between a gay couple in America will make the marriage of a straight couple any less meaningful. The couples at Niagara Falls certainly didn’t and we shared in each other’s joy.

Before getting married, I didn’t talk much about being gay at work – my church, my weekend entertainment or the political issues impacting me as a gay man. Now, my co-workers hear about my real life every day just as I hear about the things that concern them. There are four of us guys on my team. We wear jeans and work-boots, and we are "the guys" called in for the big emergencies. We are a team, one gay and three non-gay, and we trust each other and respect one another’s marriages.

Yes, I climb telephone poles for AT&T but I’m also an openly “married man” with all my co-workers and that has made all the difference in the world. Thanks Marty, Ryan and Todd.

***Greg Disney works for AT&T and lives in Indianapolis. He and Tahlib were married on January 28, 2008.

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Faculty opposes anti-marriage constitutional amendment

Ball State Daily News
February 1, 2008
The Ball State University Faculty Council voted to oppose the proposed gay marriage amendment Senate Joint Resolution 7. Beckie Adams, a professor in the Department of Family and Consumer Sciences, said the Faculty Council was strongly opposed to the state constitution amendment. [Link]

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Indiana Senate Passes Anti-Marriage Amendment
January 30, 2008
Indiana's Senate has approved a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would limit marriage to opposite-sex couples. The Senate vote sends the measure to the House, which is controlled by Democrats. Speaker Patrick Bauer (D) has said repeatedly that an amendment is not needed because same-sex marriages are already banned under Indiana law. [Link]

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BLOG: New IN guardianship case evokes memories of Kowalski battle

Leonard Link
August 7, 2007
Indiana's guardianship statute is specific as to who can be appointed a guardian for an incompetent adult, and same-sex partners are not on the list. (Indiana bars marriage for same-sex partners, and there is no legal recognition of a same-sex relationship under state law.) Under the state's guardianship law, first priority for appointment would be a person designated in a durable power of attorney. In other words, a little "gay family planning" on the part of Atkins and Conrad would have put Conrad first in line here. [Link]

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BLOG: New attention-grabbing billboard campaign

Pam's House Blend
April 16, 2007
A Metropolitan Community Church in Indianapolis, IN, this week began a new media campaign aimed at challenging Hoosiers to re-examine their assumptions about what the Bible says about homosexuality. "In the past, many Christians misused the Bible to support slavery, oppose equal rights for women, and oppose interracial marriage," says Rev. Jimmy Creech, Executive Director of Faith In America. "They went so far as to accuse people on the other side of being unbiblical. The same thing is happening again with respect to same-gender relationships. It has to stop." [Link]

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Anti-gay marriage ban collapses in IN

The Indianapolis Star
April 4, 2007
An Indiana House committee rejected a proposed constitution ban of gay and lesbian marriages Tuesday, signaling a major victory for the gay community and big employers that opposed the amendment. [Link]

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Equal marriage proponents and opponents rally at Indiana’s House

WTHR Eyewitness News
March 8, 2005
Indiana's House is undecided on an amendment to the State Constitution banning marriage for gay couples. In an effort to recruit lawmakers, amendment supporters spoke inside the Statehouse, while equal marriage proponents rallied outside. [Link]

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