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Same-Sex Marriage Advocates Call For Amendment’s Defeat

Some business leaders say a state constitutional ban on same sex marriage would stymie their efforts to recruit top talent.

Robert Smith

Photo: Simon Thompson

Eli Lilly Corporate Responsibility Director Robert Smith speaks against an anti-gay marriage amendment at an Aug. 21 rally in Indianapolis.

Indiana business, faith and community leaders are promising a well-funded campaign against lawmakers who support amending Indiana’s constitution to ban same-sex marriage.

The General Assembly approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Indiana in 2011. To become law, it would have to pass the legislature again this year, and then be approved by voters in the 2014 November general election.

A newly formed group, Freedom Indiana, is vowing to fight the amendment.  Veteran Republican campaign manager Megan Robertson will steer Freedom Indiana’s campaign. For her, the issue is not a bipartisan one.

“This issue does not just affect the LGBT community here in Indiana,” she says. “It affects our businesses, our faith institutions, our friends and our neighbors.”

If the legislature passes the measure, she says, she anticipates state and national money will pour in to fight it.

Eli Lilly corporate responsibility director Robert Smith says his company supports Freedom Indiana’s cause. He says the amendment, known as HJR6, promotes inequality.

“Putting HJR6 into our state’s most important legal document presents a barrier to us in recruiting and retaining that great talent,” he says.

He adds Lilly and Freedom Indiana will work hard to defeat the measure in the legislature.

Indiana Family Institute Public Policy Director Ryan McCann supports banning same-sex marriage in Indiana. He says putting the marriage amendment on the ballot will bolster its chances of becoming law.

“You’ll end up getting a groundswell of folks who maybe don’t normally vote that come out and vote in favor of marriage, especially in a more conservative state like Indiana,” he says.

McCann says the people of Indiana deserve the right to have their say at the ballot box.

“It shouldn’t be politicians or activists or even big business that defines what marriage is here in Indiana,” he says. “It should be the people.  The people should just have a right to vote; we should let democracy work.”

Republican legislative leaders and Governor Mike Pence have already pledged to push the measure next session.

Brandon Smith

Brandon Smith has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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  • Staciehew

    I don’t remember ever getting to vote on straight marriage. Will that be on the ballot too?

  • Jimmy Humphries

    The general public should not be voting on the rights of a minority. We have the constitution, so let’s just go with equality for all and stop acting like fools.

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