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Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Announces Opposition to HJR 6

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The Bloomington Chamber of Commerce just announced their opposition to HJR 6, the legislation in the Indiana State House altering the definition of marriage. The Chamber’s Board of Directors approved the official documentation of their opposition, saying instead legislators should work on legislation that will bring business to the state, not give them reason to leave. The Bloomington Chamber of Commerce represents over 1,100 local businesses including IU Health-Bloomington and Indiana University, which have both also released public statements opposing the amendment. The Bloomington City Council also made a motion against HJR 6 last week and Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan has joined mayors statewide in opposition to the bill.

Daily Local News – December 12, 2013

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The Bloomington Chamber of Commerce opposes HJR-6; The Bloomington City Council voted yesterday to do away with the stiffest penalties for violating the city’s parking meter rules; On Tuesday a newly assigned diversity official at the Monroe County Community School Corporation said minority employees there are mostly pleased with their work environment; Last Thursday, during a board meeting at Indiana University East in Richmond, IU trustees talked about the contracts awarded by the school to businesses owned by minorities, women, and veterans; Two Monroe County officials gave a presentation Tuesday in hopes of quelling fears about a looming financial dilemma.

FEATURE
Pence on Education
On Tuesday December 10th Indiana Governor Mike Pence outlined his agenda for handling Hoosier education in 2014.   He praised Indiana standardized test scores and announced an initiative to provide grants directly to teachers, and stressed innovation in education. Highlights from his speech, here for today’s WFHB feature exclusive.

VOICES IN THE STREET
Our weekly public opinion feature Voices in the Street asks you to reflect on 2013 and speculate what is to come in 2014.

CREDITS
Anchors: Carolyn VandeWiele, Scott Weddle
Today’s headlines were written by Yvonne Cheng
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services.
Our feature was produced by Sarah Hettrick.
Voices in the Street was produced by Kelly Wherley, and Maddie Glenn
Our engineer is Sarah Hettrick.
Our Editor is Drew Daudelin,
Executive Producer is Alycin Bektesh.

CATSweek: Same-Sex Marriage Resolution, Rules For Secondhand Shops, Proposed Recycling Facility

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In this episode of CATSweek, produced through a partnership between WFHB and Community Access Television Services:

The Bloomington City Council passed a resolution in support of same-sex marriage December 4th; The Board president of the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District announced plans November 21st to renew discussion about a controversial recycling facility; On November 25th, the Ellettsville Town Council held another debate about new regulations on secondhand shops…And more.

Watch the full show on the CATS website.

Bloomington City Council Passes Resolution Supporting Same-Sex Marriage in Response to HJR6

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The Bloomington City Council passed a resolution in support of same-sex marriage yesterday. The four-page resolution was a response to House Joint Resolution 6, which seeks to add a same-sex marriage ban to the Indiana Constitution. One of the resolution’s sponsors, Council Member Susan Sandberg, defended the council’s choice to take a position on the issue.

“This is the right thing to do at the right time in our history,” Sandberg said, “I stand up proudly for it and I will take any criticism from the media. We have plenty of time to take care of the ‘traditional’ city business but when it comes to resolutions, this council has always taken stands that people say are not in our jurisdiction, we take these opportunities to allow these to serve as public forums.”

11 members of the public spoke in favor of the resolution.

Faith Hawkins, a citizen, said she married her partner in 1996, but the marriage is not legally recognized. Hawkins declared that her reason for support is that she doesn’t want to be at the hospital not being able to find out her partner’s medical status because her next of kin relationship with her is not recognized.

Another member of the public, Glorianne Leck, said she and her partner traveled to New York to get married earlier this year. She said there were financial reasons for the marriage. She wants for her partner to be able to collect her social security but that the cost of the trip should have gone to regular wedding costs.

“I have long said that being queer is what I’m most proud of because I’m not conforming for anybody,” Leck said, “But now I’ve been hogtied into marriage because of the financial need we have as elders.”

Charlotte Zietlow also addressed the council. Zietlow is a member of the city’s Board of Public Works, and she served on the City Council in 1975, when the council voted to include sexual orientation in the city’s Human Rights Ordinance. She said the provision came up for discussion again during the 1990’s.

“I’m touched because those meetings were very conentious and hate-filled,” Zietlow said, “Tonight we have a group speaking from the heart without fear of being yelled at by other members of the community. That is such an incredible sign of progress we should be proud of.”

No one spoke against the resolution, and the council approved it unanimously.

Bloomington Chamber of Commerce on Same-Sex Marriage

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Several large organizations and institutions have expressed opposition to the effort to amend the state constitution to limit marriage to two people of the opposite sex, in effect banning same-sex marriage in Indiana. The Indiana General Assembly has already passed one resolution to this effect. A second bill, House Joint Resolution 6, or HJR 6, which would put the question on the ballot in the fall of 2014, is up for debate in January. Michael McRobbie, President of Indiana University, announced yesterday that IU is joining Freedom Indiana, the state wide coalition leading the fight against the constitutional amendment. Several important Indiana-based corporations, including Ely Lilly and Cummins Diesel, have also voiced their opposition to the move. Last week, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce adopted the same position. For today’s WFHB feature exclusive, correspondent David Murphy spoke to Liz Irwin, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce, to find out if the voice of business in this region has taken a position on the issue.

Daily Local News – October 28, 2013

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Four recipients have been announced for the  Bloomington Urban Enterprise Zone Arts Grant Program; The national organization Family Equality Council is hosting a talk for LGBT community who wish to learn about all the options available for starting or growing a family; The policy committee of the Bloomington Monroe County Metropolitan Planning Organization made plans October 11th to request a study on the effects of pollution along Interstate 69; The City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department will hold the annual Bloomington Pumpkin Launch on Saturday.

FEATURE
IU Joins Resistance to HJR-6
Today, Indiana University President Michael McRobbie announced that IU is joining Freedom Indiana in its battle against the stated intention of the Indiana government to amend the state constitution, effectively banning same sex marriage. This action requires the General Assembly to pass a resolution to this effect during two sessions of the assembly. It has been passed once already. The proposal is to be presented for the second time to the Indiana General Assembly, under House Joint Resolution 6, during the upcoming session that begins in January 2014. If passed, HJR 6 will have a statewide referendum placed on the November 2014 ballot, that will ask voters to approve amending the state constitution to read, quote, that only marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana, and provides that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized. WFHB correspondent David Murphy spoke to Mark Land, from IU Communications, about McRobbie’s announcement.

ACTIVATE
Tom Cox talks about the work and purpose of Monroe County CARES, our local connection to the Drug Free Indiana program on Activate! Our weekly segment spotlighting people working for positive change in our community.

CREDITS
Anchors: Maria McKinley, Doug Storm
Today’s headlines were written by Yin Yuan, Yvonne Cheng, and Chris Martin
Along with Joe Crawford for CATSweek, a partnership with Community Access Television Services
Our feature was produced by David Murphy
Activate! is produced by Jennifer Whitaker
Our engineers were Chris Martin and Lauren Glapa
Editor is Drew Daudelin
Executive producer is Alycin Bektesh

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