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Zoeller: Gay Marriage Defense Is Not About Personal Advocacy

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.

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