Republican state Rep. Mike Delph of Carmel has been banished to the "dark side."

Republican leadership punished Delph for talking out of school about HJR-3, the gay marriage ban amendment.

Delph was among those who supported making the ban permanent by inserting it into the Indiana Constitution.

Delph will lose his leadership spot within the Republican caucus, his title as ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, his press secretary and his seat with other Republicans. Even worse, Delph will now have to sit among the Senate's Democrats. That, apparently, is the consummate punishment one gets for speaking out of turn.

That's how power politics works.

Many political watchers told lawmakers that they had more important tasks to tackle this session. But the leaders' insistence on pushing the measure led to lost tempers that cost a lawmaker dearly.

As Tom LoBianco of The Associated Press reported it last week, "supporters of the proposed ban, including Delph, suffered a surprising defeat at the Statehouse when the measure was altered by House lawmakers to remove a ban on civil unions, effectively delaying a final decision on the issue at least two years."

Delph called a Statehouse news conference to express his disappointment. In that public forum, he accused Senate President Pro-Tem David Long, of Fort Wayne, and others "of purposely delaying a public vote on the gay marriage ban," LoBianco reported.

Delph also had taken to Twitter to chat about the goings-on at the Statehouse and, more to the point, within the Republican Senate Caucus. Just minutes before the Senate decided against restoring the ban, Delph tweeted that the issue was dead for the session.

Delph didn't report anything that most people didn't already know.

His crime, being open to the public.

Democrats have been guilty of doling out similar punishment.

In 2003, former House Speaker Patrick Bauer, D-South Bend, stripped former Rep. Win Moses, D-Fort Wayne, of a committee chairmanship shortly after Moses challenged him for control of the House.

Get this, in a move that is nothing short of Draconian, Bauer moved Moses' parking spot in the Statehouse lot further from the building.

Losing parking spots ... having to sit with Democrats - politics is a petty game.

It seems that political leaders are willing to allow dissent - to a point. But when push comes to shove, don't cross the boss.

- Information for this editorial came from the Bedford Times-Mail