IU joins coalition to oppose marriage amendment


timthumb-2.phpStaff report

INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana University officials announced Monday that the school is joining a coalition to fight a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

IU President Michael McRobbie said the proposed amendment – which bans same-sex marriage – would “codify an intolerance that is not representative of the best of Hoosier values.”

The proposed amendment also bans same-sex unions that are similar to marriages.

The proposed amendment passed the legislature two years ago as House Joint Resolution 6. If it passes again in 2014, the measure will go on the ballot for ratification by voters.

“Equality, compassion and respect for individuals have long been the bedrock of Indiana University’s educational mission, and the lack of tolerance implicit in HJR 6 runs counters to IU’s deeply held values,” IU President Michael McRobbie said in a prepared statement.

Just last week the Indy Chamber joined the coalition, which also includes Eli Lilly & Co. and Cummins.

A number of religious and family groups – including the American Family Association of Indiana and the Indiana Family Institute – oppose same-sex marriage and support the constitutional amendment.

Republican legislative leaders said earlier this year that they expected the amendment would pass in 2014. But more recently, the GOP majority caucuses have been meeting behind closed doors to discuss the amendment.

Any delay or changes in the proposal means the lengthy amendment process starts over.

McRobbie said Monday that the proposed amendment provide some prospective employees a disincentive to locate in Indiana, adding to the state’s challenges to remain economically competitive.

“HJR 6 sends a powerfully negative message of Indiana as a place to live and work that is not welcoming to people of all backgrounds and beliefs,” McRobbie said. “As a major employer in the state, IU competes with universities and companies around the world for the very best talent, and HJR 6 would needlessly complicate our efforts to attract employees to our campuses around the state.”

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  1. The ammendment to oppose gay marriage is an idea whose time has passed. Hoosiers need to give this one up!

    • My friend, you can not write an amendment to oppose gay marriage. That is unconstitutional. But, I will concede that the authors of this amendment are motivated by personal and religious feelings. I do not agree with those as proper motivations either. As always, My concern is that we are opening up a Pandora’s box of issues. Here is an interesting one. http://www.slate.com/blogs/outward/2013/10/25/native_american_gay_marriage_is_legal_in_oklahoma_how_does_that_work.html?utm_source=Albert+Mohler&utm_campaign=2c348d5547-The_Briefing_2013&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_b041ba0d12-2c348d5547-307777085

      When we begin writing laws based on popular opinion, we empower idiots like this one who has no idea where to draw an ethical line. http://www.14news.com/story/23812706/s

      • In America, we no longer “vote” on the rights of our fellow man, and an attempt to to do so would open a bigger,uglier “Pandora’s box.”

        • Yea. We no longer vote on rights for our fellow man. We just create more rights such as the ACA under less than truthful pretense and take away others rights to not do something.

        • There is no “right” to marriage. Constitutionally defining marriage is not voting on the rights of our fellow man. Voter mandates allowing or denying Homosexual marriage are wrong for the every reason you just stated. But what we are currently doing by qualifying marriage based on sexual orientation while denying it to others is discrimination. That’s the only Pandora’s box being opened.

          • If there is no right to marriage, then it can be regulated. Each is allowed to marry the opposite sex and it applies equally to everyone. It is not just a question of “orientation”. We regulate behavior constantly. What about those who decide they have so much love to give they want to married to a man and woman at the same time? What about having more than one wife? Would it be discrimination if this was prohibited?

  2. This will not dissuade the bigoted deadenders from continuing their crusade. They are on a mission. The IU announcement is not just another nail in HJR 6’s coffin. It is a railroad spike, rusty and with garlic.

    Sounds like the Indiana GOP majority is in a near-constant state of secret caucusing, trying to find a way to slink out of this. Looking for a way to wave the white flag without it looking like the frilly rainbow-hued underwear they secretly so admire. Trying desperately to keep their homophobic base in camp without alienating their diminishing stock of sensible voters.

    If there ends up being no vote on it, it will necessitate a restart. That could be mitigated by a promise to craft some more flaky schemes to shut down Planned Parenthood clinics to assuage the poly-bigoted among them. Once that is shot down by the courts they can claim they fought the good fight and maybe keep some of the knuckledraggers while watching their scant store of women voters peel on off. I think the GOP stayed on the wrong side of this for too long and have left themselves with no good options.

  3. Before voting on a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage, Indiana legislators should read the Indiana State Constitution, Section 23: “The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.”

    To ban same sex marriage would have the effect of granting heterosexual citizens privileges which upon the same terms would not belong equally to all citizens of Indiana.

    Yes, I realize that the proposed ban on gay marriage would become an amendment to the Indiana constitution, nullifying for gay and lesbian citizens the protection afforded by Section 23 of the same constitution. So, in a sense, the legislators who propose to ratify the amendment possibly have chosen a legal path to deny equal rights to all Indiana citizens.

    But at the same time, any legislator who would vote for a constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage would be acting regressively and in opposition to the acts and intentions of Indiana’s original constitutional guarantees. And on what grounds? Religious or cultural?

    Indiana Constitution, Section 3. No law shall, in any case whatever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.

    And as to religious institutions that currently are ready and willing to perform same sex marriage ceremonies and include same sex couples in their worship services: Section 4. No preference shall be given, by law, to any creed, religious society, or mode of worship; and no person shall be compelled to attend, erect, or support, any place of worship, or to maintain any ministry, against his consent.

    As to the state institution, publishing, or enforcing a ban on same sex marriage to benefit religious organizations or beliefs, for the purpose of political benefit to the pro-ban legislators: Section 6. No money shall be drawn from the treasury, for the benefit of any religious or theological institution …

    … and: Section 18. The penal code shall be founded on the principles of reformation, and not of vindictive justice.

    As to same sex couples who already have legally wed (entered into a marriage contract) regardless of where and when: Section 24. No ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, shall ever be passed.

    So, let’s just leave the Indian Constitution as is, and encourage our legislators to reinforce the rights guaranteed by our constitution by “formally legalizing” same sex marriage in Indiana.

    • The law applies evenly to all as now written: you can either marry a woman or man, but not both. As such current law does not violate section 23. Section 3 does not apply at all. Nor does section 4. You are assuming this is based solely on religious ideas.

      • No, I am just offering information, yes with an insinuation that certain cultural ideals and statutory laws are operative in the issue, and letting others with whatever divergent socio-political opinions or legal expertise decide how various constitutional sections may apply to this specific piece of proposed, regressive, and archaic legislation.

        • I’m just countering that insuatation with an opinion suggesting a different interpretation of the constitutional reasons for opposing the amendment. There are other reasons besides cultural or religious that support the amendment and those reasons are not regressive. Certain other sections you reference, like section 3, clearly pertain to excerise of religion; that is a seperate issue from the State of Indiana issuing a license for marriage.

    • There is no constitutional amendment to ban homosexual marriage. So your whole argument fails from your first statement.

      But let’s take your Section 23: “The General Assembly shall not grant to any citizen, or class of citizens, privileges or immunities, which, upon the same terms, shall not equally belong to all citizens.” and apply it to other scenarios.

      If we begin “formally legalize” homosexual marriage based on consent and commitment and it is limited toonly two, how are we not violating section 23 by denying it to other unions with the same grievances?

      A line of what qualifies as marriage will be drawn and some will feel discriminated against. When these disenfranchised present their petitions for state sanctioning of their unions, how will they be denied?

      Further more, when homosexual marriage is federally mandated, and it will be, how will an officiant who objects to homosexual marriage be able to deny a request and not be guilty of discrimination? Will a clerk or a minister be forced to officiate a wedding against his or her convictions or suffer social and economic consequences?

      • +1 Especially the last paragraph. If Governor Brown in CA had chosen to appeal the verdict regarding the amendment to their constitution, you might have an answer. That is a very sticky point that will have to reviewed sometime.

  4. Is it any surprise IU would back this opposition. The city limits of Bloomington along with Lake county are liberal diehards. What does Michael McRobbie know about “Hoosier values”? Hes an Australian who has been at Indiana 5-6 yrs? These same people who want Marriage which is a religious definition and ceremony scream at anything else “church and State” oriented. Let them have unions so they can file one tax return and have one person owe the other money when they split up too.

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