Lebanon Reporter

State News

March 8, 2014

Changed wording delays debate on right to hunt, fish

INDIANAPOLIS — A much-debated ban on same-sex marriage wasn’t the only proposed constitutional amendment to get knocked off this November’s ballot. Gone, too, is the less contentious proposal to protect Hoosiers’ right to hunt and fish.

Backers of the measure say enshrining the right to “hunt, fish, and harvest wildlife” in Indiana’s Constitution will protect the state’s heritage from animal rights and anti-hunting activists. Without it, they fear, future generations of sportsmen will see limits on hunting seasons, more restrictions on hunting weapons, and increased protections for prey.“There are people that don’t believe you ought to hunt or fish,” said Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, a longtime champion of the cause. “We need protection from them.”But similar to the fate of the same-sex marriage amendment, a change to the hunting and fishing resolution’s language — removing a phrase covering the right to farm — postpones any public vote until at least 2016.

As falling support and rising court challenges create doubts about the future of the marriage amendment, supporters of Senate Joint Resolution 9 – the hunting and fishing amendment – predict success in the next legislative session.“This thing has passed with a lot of support in the past, and it will again,” said Steele.

At least 17 states have guaranteed the right to hunt and fish in their constitutions, with all but one of those measures passed since 1996 with support from hunting and gun advocacy groups. Backers in Indiana include the National Rifle Association and Protect the Harvest, an organization founded by Forrest Lucas, owner of Lucas Oil.

Opponents of the amendment say it addresses a threat that doesn’t exist.“We think it’s unnecessary,” said Erin Huang, state director of the Humane Society of the United States. “Those rights aren’t under attack.”The Humane Society is a target of criticism from the amendment’s advocates. Steele says the organization is quietly working to undermine hunting and fishing rights — a charge the organization denies.“They’d like you to think this is a manufactured crisis,” said Steele, an avid hunter. “But if I were a virus and I wanted to kill the world, the way I would want you to believe is that I didn’t exist. That way you’d never wash your hands, you’d never do anything to prevent me.”“I’m just trying to inoculate us,” he added.

Text Only
State News

Featured items
Click below to browse and order photos


Photos from June 2014

Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide