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Our view: Stop gay marriage referendum

THE FIRST AMENDMENT

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Updated: January 6, 2013 9:46AM



Isn’t it already against Indiana law to for a man to marry another man or a woman to marry another woman?

Yet, here we are, as a state, winding toward a likely public vote that could take the basic tenets of that law and etch them into the Indiana Constitution.

What a waste to time, effort and image.

Yes, image.

During its 2013 or 2014 session, the General Assembly is expected to look for the second vote needed to put the constitutional amendment question on a statewide ballot. Let the people’s voices be heard, lawmakers say.

That’s an easy way out for legislators who want it both ways — to look strong on so-called family values, but still be able to wash their hands of a decision that does double duty against a segment of society.

When the topic was last visited in 2011, there was concern among the state’s high-tech industries that a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage would crimp their recruiting clout.

Last month, a group called Indiana Equality released a study that highlighted 614 laws in Indiana that provide rights or responsibilities based on marriage and family.

In other words, Indiana already does a fine job of making life hard for gay and lesbian couples.

Hoosiers heard plenty during the 2012 campaigns about candidates who were going to do everything in their power to recruit and protect jobs.

A constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage is very much a jobs measure. If passed, it will be a recruiter’s nightmare. And it will paint this state as backward at a time when younger attitudes about gays and lesbians aren’t nearly as strident.

Halfway home in the constitutional question process, lawmakers seem content to let it proceed. But they’d be doing their constituents right — not to mention doing their jobs — by halting it and letting the push for an amendment fade.

(Lafayette) Journal and Courier



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