Press release from the Indiana LP:
We sent out a press release this afternoon with a memo regarding a Constitutional ban on gay marriage. After further investigation we have determined that we were the victim of a similar hoax as the one that befell Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett last week. Our party cares deeply about accountability and transparency, so we want to be the first to confirm to you that this email was not sent from a state government email address.
This email was sent to us February 9, 2011, but we released it today. We wanted to take the time to hear the other side of the story before sharing it with our membership and the media. Unfortunately, answers were never provided.
The person working on our social networking sites at the time received the email first. We called the Indiana State’s Senate Office to speak with Senator Lawson about the email’s contents immediately after we were made aware of its contents. We were never able to get through to the Majority Leader for clarification.
We also reached out to the Indiana Republican Party last week, and provided them with a hard copy of the email. After no response, we felt it was time to make the public aware of this information, and hopefully get some answers that way.
We do not know where the email came from, or what motives were behind the hoax. We have and will cooperate with any authorities that wish to pursue this matter to get answers. We also apologize to the other victim of this hoax, State Senator Connie Lawson. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.
The earlier press release (when they thought the email was real):
On February 9th, the office of State Senate Majority Leader Connie Lawson sent an email to a leader in the Libertarian Party of Indiana demanding silence on the Constitutional ban on gay marriage (HJR-6
). The email was sent from a government account and available for FOIA request. It is also copied below.
The letter was received by a volunteer posting articles against HJR-6 on the state party’s facebook page and website. It demands that the posting cease or “structural adjustments” may need to be made.
“When a State Senator or their staff demand that a political organization remain silent on any issue, I consider this a very serious problem,” said Sam Goldstein, the Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Indiana. “If we aren’t silent, then what “structural adjustments would be made? I have personally reached out to Lawson’s office and the Indiana Republican Party to give them an opportunity to explain these statements, but we did not receive any response back. We have also been trying to confirm if this was a staffer using government time and resources or if these are the thoughts of the Senator herself. Either way she is accountable for these statements.”
Goldstein continued, “We are a bona fide political party. We are not servants of the Republican Party or the General Assembly, and we will proudly speak out against discrimination being amended into our State’s Constitution. Days after this email, we put out a press release
denouncing HJR-6 and SJR-13. The desire to control the relationships of all Hoosiers is clearly spelled out in both Lawson’s email and these joint resolutions. Someone should remind Republicans that their legislative duty is to defend rights, not control behavior.”
Media Contact: Sam Goldstein, (317) 850-0726 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: Wed, Feb 9, 2011 at 9:18 AM
Subject: LGBT Issues and Rights in Indiana
It has been quite some time since we have last spoken. I appreciate your continued concern about LGBT rights here in Indiana. As you know, we have taken recent strides to assist the state in strengthening marriage. Our state boasts one of the highest rates of divorce in the nation and we are seeking to help reduce these issues through marriage counseling programs and by constitutionally changing the way that marriage works here in Indiana.
I have come to realize that you have helped drive the Libertarian Party of Indiana’s most recent views against HJR-6 and SJR-13. While you do understand that I appreciate and respect your views on this issue, I do request that you keep these posts to a minimum. The Republican Party of Indiana does not wish to cause issue with the Libertarian Party of Indiana in any way, but should these oppositions continue to occur, we may have to make some structural adjustments.
I do appreciate your views and think that you have done a magnificent job in articulating an adequate viewpoint on these issues. While they are viewed as the most basic civil rights issues of our day, it should also be noted that continual political polarization in Indiana and in the United States could result in serious consequence should we not provide support and coalition together for the greater good of all Hoosiers.
I will keep you informed of the bills that are passing through the Senate this year and will continue to have open dialogue. I do request that you cease postings in this issue and help them die slowly so that the State House will be able to see the true nature of the people of Indiana and not of politics as usual.
Senator Connie Lawson
Majority Floor Leader
200 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204