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Zoeller: Gay Marriage Defense Is Not About Personal Advocacy

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says the judicial system is the right place for the fate of Indiana’s gay marriage ban statute to be decided.

HJR3 Supporters

Photo: Brandon Smith/IPBS

A group of HJR-3 supporters hold signs in favor of traditional marriage at the Indiana statehouse.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says the judicial system is the right place for the fate of Indiana’s gay marriage ban statute to be decided.

During the legislative debate over HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, lawmakers often said the purpose of the amendment was to provide added protection for Indiana’s marriage statute, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman.

The common refrain from people like Speaker Brian Bosma was that the question of marriage in Indiana shouldn’t be decided by one person.

“It’s my preference that the decision in this regard, whatever it may be, is made by elected officials and ultimately the people and not by an activist judge,” says Bosma.

In the wake of the session, at least four lawsuits have been filed challenging the state’s marriage statute.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller says it’s important that the statute’s constitutionality be challenged in federal court so that a definitive answer can be reached.

“This is not personal advocacy on my part or the lawyers that represent the state but the current rule of law supports the state’s authority to set the licensing for marriage and we’ll continue to defend that until the Supreme Court tells us differently,” says Zoeller.

Zoeller says he doesn’t plan to use outside counsel when defending the state’s marriage statute.

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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  • wayne

    Indiana……please step up to the plate and defend your bigotry…..Tell us why marriage is a state’s rights issue, but try to hide the fact that no state, in regulating marriage, can deprive a citizen of his rights under the US Constitution. Have you no guts? Why not face the issue directly and argue that no person has the fundamental right to marry…..of course, if you win, then we voters can have all kinds of fun,,,like “No person with red hair shall marry a blond…..” and “applicant’s under 5 feet can only marry certified dwarfs”…consider the possibilities, “voters”…….

  • ThatBaldGuy

    Regardless of anyone’s opinion the fact is that no one has ever been able to successfully argue that any state has a compelling interest in restricting marriage to straight couples. Moral outrage is not a compelling interest (per conservative justice Scalia, no less).
    SCOTUS will overturn.

  • ThatBaldGuy

    Why is it that judges are “activist” when they make a ruling someone doesn’t like? How many years have the people who make these criticisms spent studying constitutional law?

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