Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce Comes Out Against Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment


Indianapolis, Indiana's largest business group announced today it opposes a proposed constitutional amendment to ban marriage equality in the state, The Indianapolis Star reports:

The Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce is the latest high-profile business interest to oppose the amendment, which the General Assembly will consider for the second and final time early next year. If the legislature approves the amendment, called House Joint Resolution 6, then heads to Indiana voters in a statewide referendum in November 2014.

"The Indy Chamber is in the business of strengthening our economy and attracting top talent to our region," John Thompson, chairman of the chamber's board, said in a news release. "The proposed marriage amendment does nothing to help show the nation that Indiana is a place that welcomes all, not just some. And we must be mindful of how actions such as this will impact our competitiveness on a national and global level."

Not only would the proposed amendment enshrine anti-marriage equality language into the state's constitution, it would also explicitly outlaw civil unions, which Indiana does not currently provide.

A recent poll found that two-thirds of Indiana voters oppose the proposed constitutional amendment.  The campaign against the amendment, known as Freedom Indiana, kicked off this summer and is led by campaign manager Megan Robertson, a Republican who supports equal marriage rights.

In a position statement posted on its website, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce highlighted Indiana's "brain drain" as one of its reasons for opposing the constitutional amendment:

"Indiana's struggles to retain its college graduates are well documented and often acknowledged in the state legislature. Its necessity to ease this "brain drain" by attracting talent on a national scale would be inhibited by adopting an unnecessary, discriminatory amendment with fading support from younger generations.

"As the only potential marriage amendment up for consideration nationwide in 2014, it is important to be mindful of the conspicuous part HJR-6 would play in portraying Indiana as a state that welcomes some, but not all, talented workers."


  1. Francis #1 says

    Good news. Homophobia is bad for business. The statewide chamber of commerce will not come out against the amendment because they don’t want to get involved in a “political issue” and there is disagreement within the group.

    Indiana citizens may not vote for marriage equality but I think an amendment like this is too much, even for this red state. Let’s hope that’s the case, or better yet, there is no amendment at all in 2014.

  2. William says

    “In a position statement posted on its website, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce highlighted Indiana’s “brain drain” as one of its reasons for opposing the constitutional amendment:”

    Too late.

  3. *****overTX says

    Do these legislators not have enough sense to realize that by installing these provisions into their constitutions, they are placing the taxpayers of their state on the hook for expensive law suits to defend these unconstitutional provisions. How is it possible that these legislators can not look at the states which are currently tied up in legislation over these types of amendments and realize they are going to be placing their taxpayers in jeopardy of having to spend vast amounts of money to defend their anti-gay animus.

  4. Kevin says

    Mike Pence and the bigoted legislators don’t care.
    Their hatred of gays and lesbians and the belief their viewpoints should be imposed on everyone will trump common sense.

  5. johnny says

    Welcome to Indy, the Mississippi of the North!

    Pence and his right-wing nazi ilk are so incredibly frightened of looking like anything close to being accepting of gays that they’ll never change their minds.

    When it does come up for a state-wide vote here, (and you know it will) the results may end up surprising everyone. And even if it ends up in the state constitution, things will be even more juicy when the Fed overturns ALL states constitutions and requires that ALL states recognize marriage equality. It’s heading that way soon anyway, so I’m not worried.

    Wish I could be there when Pence is having his first big, sloppy spoonful of crow.

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