Thumbs up: Rally for equality
Adding to the slew of statehouse protests last week, the Equality for all Hoosiers rally on Monday afternoon brought several hundred demonstrators in public opposition to a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. The legislation, which attempts to define marriage as between a man and woman and ban recognition of civil unions and domestic partnerships, has already passed the House, pushing it closer to enactment than in previous attempts. Good news is, amendments are slow: even if it passes, we've got 'til 2013 or '14 to keep living in sin.
Thumbs up: Slam dunk for Big 10 Tourney
This past weekend's Big Ten tournament rewarded Indy for its Midwestern hospitality with a healthy economic boost. Officials from the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association estimate that more than 86,000 fans dropped roughly $8 million over the course of the weekend. Bidding for hosting duties will soon reopen as Indianapolis' five-year contract runs out in 2012. Here's hoping the promise of such tasty revenue is incentive enough for Republicans not to pass alienating legislation like the same-sex marriage ban and anti-immigration bill.
Thumbs down: Evan Bayh: home at last
Fox News announced Monday that former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh has officially signed on to join the network as a commentator and political analyst. We're not surprised. After his decision last year not to seek reelection, Bayh became an East Coast lobbyist. In his defense, Bayh said he'd offer a Democratic viewpoint to "the most widely watched news network," citing a poll that found 38 percent of Dems tune in at least occasionally. But doesn't he know that's just for entertainment value? Good luck behind enemy lines, Senator — though toward the end there, we weren't so certain whose side you were on anyway.
Thumbs up: Philanthropy to the rescue
With all the talk about cuts to government programs in the social welfare sector, it's great to see local philanthropists stepping up. Lawrence M. Reuben, in partnership with Central Indiana Community Foundation, announced this week he would donate $8 million from the estate of his late parents, Sara I. Reuben and Albert G. Reuben, to 13 Indianapolis-area non-profits. Proceeds include a half-million each to the Humane Society of Indianapolis and the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, and a cool million to the Immigrant Welcome Center.