Photo: Kevin Clakre (flickr)
The latest to publicly oppose a constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage is Indiana is a group of about 300 ministers from across the state.
Some of the ministers along with members of the Freedom Indiana coalition delivered the letter to the Statehouse, the second time it has actually been delivered this year.
“The letter was delivered in January. It has since been supplemented with more faith leaders and clergy signing on,” said Rick Sutton, president of Freedom Indiana‘s board.
“Our views on marriage differ, but we speak with one voice to oppose amending the Indiana Constitution to define marriage,” reads the letter signed by active and retired clergy from numerous faiths and denominations. “People of different faith traditions disagree on marriage-related issues. However, each of us who signs this letter respects the right of religious groups to decide whether or not to sanction marriage or other unions of same-gender couples.”
The ministers are the latest to be part of the coalition that includes businesses such as Eli Lilly, Cummins and Emmis Communications. It also includes the Indy Chamber as well as several colleges and universities: Indiana University, Ball State, Wabash and DePauw.
Freedom Indiana‘s main argument is that amending the constitution to limit marriage to opposite-sex couples hurts the ability of businesses, colleges and others to recruit the best talent to the state.
“There‘s already state statute (against same-sex marriage). There‘s no need to duplicate state statute in the constitution,” said Sutton.
Supporters of the amendment say the current law needs the added protection of the state constitution, as several courts have ruled in favor of the right of same-sex couples to marry in other states.
Sutton says Freedom Indiana will continue to be visible, even though public opinion seems to be shifting to their side.
The latest Ball State poll taken by Princeton Research found that 58-percent of respondents opposed the marriage amendment, while just 38-percent supported it.
“Sometimes in politics, you have to seize momentum. Sometimes you don‘t have it, and you try to manufacture it. But when it‘s there, you better ride it. We think we are able to do that really, really well, plus we think we are on the right side of the issue,” Sutton said.