Elsa F. Kramer
The nationalistic fervor that accompanies military action and the repression of intellectual expression that criticizes government have had a long relationship in the United States. During World War I, for example, national security interests focused on communism. U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer warned Americans that "tongues of revolutionary heat were licking the altars of the churches, leaping into the belfry of the school bell, crawling into the sacred corners of American homes, seeking to replace marriage vows with libertine laws, burning up the foundations of society."
Marti Crouch knew from the age of 5 that she wanted to be a botanist. She dreamed of plants when other kids dreamed of animals. Her childhood artwork was all of plants personified with faces.
But there was no room for plants with faces in her rigorous post-Sputnik scientific education. Armed with a Ph.D. from Yale, Crouch came to Indiana in 1979 to teach at IU and research ways to clone soybean genes.
National census questionnaires in 2000 offered the first opportunity for gay and lesbian couples to have their family relationships acknowledged. The newly edited census form asked the sex and relationship of a respondent to the "main householder." According to GayDemographics.org, more than 10,000 same-sex Hoosier couples identified themselves as unmarried partners. Monroe County led the state in unmarried partners as a percentage of total population.
Yet despite this statistical recognition of diversity in family life, same-sex couples are still denied the right to marry in Indiana. The Indiana Marriage Protection Act defines marriage as a union of one man and one woman only, and also prohibits recognition of same-sex civil unions granted outside Indiana. Authored by State Rep. Woody Burton (R-Greenwood), the Act's passage in 1997, along with similar laws in other states, reaffirmed the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) passed in 1996.