Mayor opposes gay-marriage ban

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By Karen Kennedy

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard has joined a bipartisan coalition of 13 Indiana mayors, called Mayors for Freedom, who are opposing a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana.

The proposed amendment first came before Indiana lawmakers in 2011 and passed both the Indiana House and Senate.

While same-sex marriage currently is unrecognized in Indiana, this amendment would seek to prohibit any future legislatures from passing a law that would allow same-sex couples to legally marry. It also would prevent any new laws that would allow for legal protections such as civil unions or domestic partnerships.

If it passes both the House and the Senate again in 2014, it will appear as a referendum question before voters on the 2014 ballot.

A large number of Indiana employers and schools oppose the amendment. Among them, major employers such as Indiana University Health, Eli Lilly, Cummins, Emmis Communications, Indiana University, Ball State University, Butler University, Depauw University and Wabash College all have taken active stances against the idea.

The employers opposing the amendment have said they feel it sends the wrong message about Indiana, and does not send forth a welcoming message for a diverse and talented potential workforce.

“Indiana law already prohibits gay marriage,” Brainard said. “There is no reason to put it into the Indiana Constitution. America has been built on the principle that the Constitution is to protect the rights of the minority from the majority, and this proposal does exactly the opposite.”

“Those that believe in limited government should not be in favor of government deciding who is allowed to marry,” Brainard said. “There have been laws in the past that even limited people marrying people from different religions. The trend, throughout human history, has been towards less government control and increased rights for the individual. Indiana has far more pressing issues such as good jobs and better education to focus on.”

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