Former Indiana State Rep. Laments His Vote Against Gay Marriage

From The Indianapolis Star:

I served 12 years in the Indiana General Assembly as a state representative from 1996-2008. I cast thousands of votes during my legislative career. However, I believe the worst vote I ever cast was to amend the Indiana Constitution to ban gay marriage and civil unions. I cast the vote for my own political reasons. Many people told me a “no” vote could cost me re-election and would upset the majority of the people I represented. The amendment eventually died in committee the following session and never reached the ballot for voter approval.

Let’s face it. Indiana already has a ban against same-sex marriage. The law has held for several years. However, Republicans who now control all of state government are hell-bent on passing the amendment. These so-called conservatives can’t wait to tamper with our constitution. Many Democrats who once faced the fear I did as a legislator will likely join them.

I fear the amendment, once on the ballot, will create more hate against lesbians and homosexuals. I also believe it will hurt our economy. Indiana employers who attempt to attract the best employees from across the nation and around the globe will discover many potential employees will say no to our state and take their talents and skills elsewhere. Gay entrepreneurs with money to invest will likely take their investments to a more tolerant state.

I’m not an advocate for same-sex marriage. However, I believe the amendment goes too far. There is no reason to ban both same-sex marriage and civil unions. The bottom line for me: Lawmakers should never use our precious constitution to take away rights from any of our citizens.