Welch’s Vote Against Gay Marriage Draws Criticism

Members of Bloomington's GLBT community are calling Rep. Peggy Welch after she voted for a constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.

gay marriage

Photo: M.V. Jantzen - Flickr

2 men marry in Washington, D.C.

Members of Bloomington’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community have begun calling and e-mailing Bloomington State Representative Peggy Welch after she voted for a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.  Eleven of the House’s 40 Democrats, including Peggy Welch, voted for the resolution as it passed out of the House this week.  Welch says her vote is consistent with her faith and her stance on the issue since she was first elected more than a decade ago.  Furthermore, Welch says she believes she’s accurately representing the view of her constituents that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

“I don’t believe marriage is threatened by that; I don’t believe the world’s going to come to an end.  But I believe the majority of the citizens of District 60 believe that it’s important to maintain that distinction,” said Welch.

Welch says even though an existing state law defining marriage as solely between a man and a woman has not been challenged in court, she fears a judge could overturn it later.  But she could not cite any ill effects to the state even if the law was overturned.

Coordinator of Indiana University’s GLBT Student Support Office Doug Bauder, calls trying to lobby Welch on the issue “a lost cause,” saying past attempts have been unsuccessful.  Bauder says he’d like the debate stretched beyond the politics of representing a legislator’s district…

“I also think it’s very important for those of us who are gay and lesbian to be open and honest about who we are, so that people understand this is an issue that’s not just a political issue, it’s a personal issue for many of the citizens of this state,” Bauder said.

Monroe County legislators split their votes on the issue, with Matt Pierce voting against the resolution.  Welch says she plans to begin answering calls and e-mails on the topic at the end of next week.

Stan Jastrzebski

WFIU/WTIU News Senior Editor Stan Jastrzebski spent time as a reporter with WGN Radio in Chicago and as an editor at Network Indiana, an Indianapolis news service. Stan is the winner of awards from the Associated Press, the RTDNA, the Indiana Broadcasters Association and the Society of Professional Journalists. He hosts WFIU's Ask the Mayor and anchors WTIU's InFocus.

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  • Daniel O'Donnell

    Well, the end of next week? I believe she should listen to her constituency now! We all have something to say, and it should be heard. This tactic of avoiding the issue and hoping that it will die down by next week is disgusting. She needs to answer the phone, the emails and her Facebook wall now! Regardless of how she “feels” about the vote, her constituency is very angry with how she voted! She can say we wanted this, but I can promise we did not! Explain yourself Mrs. Welch, with expediency!

  • Brian Hawkins

    Time to replace Welch.

  • http://www.xn--danske-bten-48a.no Mike

    They can fight against it as much as they want to. In the end, gay marriages will become legal. And then some years after that, people wil look back and think of those stupid people that was against it. Like the people that thought that the earth was flat.

  • Stephen Chambers

    I have been writing Peggy Welch about this for years. My partner, David Wade, and I have been together for 28 years, and yet Ms. Welch thinks it's her duty to write discrimination against us into our state constitution for no other reason than it is her religious belief (not what she was elected to represent) and because she feels her constituency wants it (even if we did, discriminating against a minority simply because one has superior numbers is immoral.) I have also been writing the Monroe County Democratic Party pleading with them to actually run a Democrat for that seat for a change. Bloomington, home of one of the highest per capita of same-gender couples in the U.S. deserves better!

  • Jody

    “Thought,” past tense? Some of these imbeciles still hold ludicrous beliefs, like “Jesus rode a dinosaur” or “Homosexuality is a choice.” Villages from all eras have had idiots. Welch is just one of the more recent.

  • Keith Welch

    It's not just “Members of Bloomington’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community”…everyone who's sick of this nonsense is complaining about her vote! It's time America grew up and stopped wasting it's time on ancient biases that are long past their expiration date.

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