UPDATE: The Senate passed HJR-3, but with no ban on civil unions – Delph did not offer his amendment after a meeting of the Republican caucus. The resolution passed 32-to-17, with Delph keeping his promise to vote no. Four other Republicans voted no. Senator Richard Young was the only Democrat in either the House or Senate to vote yes. Since this version differs from the one passed in 2011, it will not be on the ballot this November.
wibc.com isn’t feeling well right now, probably tired of all the bleepin’ snow. Or our website is taking President’s Day off. So, I will post this here. This is my story of Mike Delph’s press conference from this morning, plus the audio of it unedited, at least until another reporter’s microphone fell from the podium and accidentally shut my recorder off.
Listen to the first few seconds of Delph, and you will understand why the mic fell off the podium – hint, see many of us holding our mics instead of them being placed on the podium. Me holding my mic also explains the picture I took with my iPhone above, in which it appears Senator Delph is about to regenerate – I have it on good authority that some of the female members of the press corps were hoping for Matt Smith.
Listen to Mike Delph’s press conference from the Statehouse:
Later in the press conference, you will hear Curt Smith, president of the Indiana Family Institute.
A final note; I did not record the end of the press conference where some reporters decided it would be a grand idea to ask Senator Delph about his relationship with his gay brother. This isn’t the Oprah Winfrey Show, and that is not relevant to the story. However, I do take issue with the Senator’s response to a question from Dan Carden of the Times of Northwest Indiana. Dan asked Senator Delph whether he had been drinking alcohol or using drugs at the time of his Tweets. Delph first said that the question was “asinine” and that he would not dignify it with a response, with audible gasps and groans from some of Delph’s supporters who were standing behind me and Dan. After the press conference, Delph told Dan face-to-face that he had not been drinking or using drugs, with others continuing to criticize Dan for asking the question. Given the extraordinary length of time the Senator devoted to Tweets last week, Dan’s question was fair and would have been asked of any politician in a similar situation.
Republican Senator Mike Delph hasn’t given up on reinserting a ban on civil unions to the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage, nor will he apologize for anything he said on Twitter last week.
Delph, with Indiana Family Institute president Curt Smith by his side, said he would ask to amend the bill known as HJR-3 with a sentence that would outlaw institutions that are similar to marriage for same sex couples before the Senate takes a final vote. If a majority of senators oppose it, Delph said he would not vote for HJR-3. “Passing this amendment in its watered down form with minimal legal protection is a political vote, and I think we are better than that and we should be honest and candid with the public,” Delph said.
The senator spent roughly the first ten minutes of a Statehouse press conference providing an brief history of bringing issues favorable to Christians back to state government, such as Christian prayer to open sessions of the state Senate. Delph says passing the marriage amendment with the civil unions ban, as it passed in 2011, should have been easy with Republican super majorities in both the House and Senate and with “the most marriage-amendment friendly governor we could have.” But the House removed the 2nd sentence of HJR-3, and Delph accused other Republicans of intentional moves to see that the civil unions ban was taken out. “I believe the outcome for the marriage amendment was determined long ago by leadership, especially in the Senate. By in so doing, these leaders have turned their backs in the name of political correctness and inclusion on the core conservative base of the Republican Party.”
Delph also had no qualms about sending out roughly 200 Tweets in less than a day after his efforts to reinsert the civil union ban failed last week. “There were no secrets. It’s all out there for the public to consume, digest and, yes, in some cases regurgitate. For some reason, we fear rigorous and in depth public debate. I embrace it. I relish it.”