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Indiana The Next Battleground In Fight For Marriage Equality

6a00d8341c730253ef019b00fbfe1d970d-250wiIn 2011 the Indiana state legislature voted to amend the state constitution to ban same-sex marriage. However, with all the recent advancement in marriage equality - the recent decisions in Utah and Ohio in particular - the attitudes in Indiana are changing. Indiana is shaping up to be a battleground state in the fight for marriage equality, and even NOM's Brian Brown recognizes the importance of the shift, saying “What happens in Indiana is critical.”

Indiana Republicans are in an awkward position between social conservatives, who are in favor of the ban remaining in place, and pro-business constituents who recognize that the ban could cause substantial economic harm. As a result, few are wanting to discuss the issue, and even Governor Mike Pence is presently remaining mum on the issue. 

On the other side of the aisle, same-sex marriage supporters have been pouring money into defeating the ban and are facing a real possibility of success that couldn't have been imagined a few years ago. Said Megan Robertson of Freedom Indiana:

It’s not a very positive reflection on our state that we’re considering this while everyone else is moving toward equality. We’re committed to fighting this legislation whether it’s in the legislature or at the ballot box.

Indiana could very well go in either direction: though a slim majority in the state were opposed to a constitutional ban only half actually want to legalize gay marriage.

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  1. Brown recognizes the importance of the shift, saying “What happens in Indiana is critical.”
    You know, this may be your Normandy.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 26, 2013 4:56:29 PM

  2. More people in Indiana oppose adding this anti-gay trash to the Amendment, but it will really be about voter turnout. Republicans are loving the fact that they're pulling this stunt during a mid-term election, so Democrat turnout is lower and angry teabagging anti-Obama turnout is higher. Pitiful.

    Posted by: Reality | Dec 26, 2013 5:06:10 PM

  3. I don't consider Ohio having any kind of marriage equality victory. Not having my marriage recognized in a state until after I die doesn't scream equality to me, and isn't much of a victory. Until the amendment banning same sex marriage is overturned then I will celebrate.

    Posted by: crazycorgi | Dec 26, 2013 5:21:23 PM

  4. I wish Towelroad would research their articles better. Indiana had the first vote of two on putting a ban on same sex marriage in the Constitution. IF the legislature brings it up for a second vote (they don't have to) and it passes the Legislature, it would go before the voters in November 2014. Hopefully it doesn't pass, but same-sex marriage is still illegal in Indiana by law, just not the Constitution. One problem with the amendment is making all civil benefits offered by industry, cities and universities illegal also.
    If the Legislature just ignores it, nothing changes. No Same sex marriage yet. That is what the anti amendment group (helped by Mary Cheny) is hoping for, NO ACTION.

    Posted by: Jeff York | Dec 26, 2013 5:22:34 PM

  5. The more important ballot measure in 2014 will be the one in Oregon which could legalize same sex marriage. In Indiana it is just a question of whether it is illegal by statute or illegal by the constitution. So the Indiana vote will be mostly symbolic unless we can also elect a pro equality governor or legislature which seems unlikely.

    Posted by: Ken | Dec 26, 2013 6:03:20 PM

  6. Thank you, Jeff York. I wasn't really able to understand the post, and was going to ask what that battle was going to be, and where (election, legislature, courts).

    Posted by: Randy | Dec 26, 2013 6:20:06 PM

  7. Well if Indiana is critical, then Virginia is in Intensive Care.

    Posted by: Peter | Dec 26, 2013 7:00:56 PM

  8. Instead of bragging about how much he is going to spend in Indiana, Brian Brown seems to be quite resigned now. Even he has learned a lesson after his 100% failure rate in the past few years.

    Posted by: simon | Dec 26, 2013 7:22:03 PM

  9. A legislator needs to stand up on the Indiana Senate floor and question whether they have the right to vote on LGBT marriage equality. Marriage is a fundamental right of Liberty guaranteed by the constitution. Tested time & time again. Voting on a minorities fundamental rights is prohibited by that same Constitution.

    Neither the voters, nor the legislators have the right to enact this proposed legislation. Their AG should know better and should have advised on this before they started. They could spare their state a lot of animosity & turmoil by asking legal scholars or a State/Appellate Justice about legislating marriage restrictions, post DOMA.

    Posted by: SERIOUSLY | Dec 26, 2013 9:53:15 PM

  10. Oregon couldn't even pass legal pot. I doubt they're abou to pass same-sex marriage. Maybe we'll all be pleasantly surprised.

    Posted by: Jonty Coppersmith | Dec 26, 2013 10:19:52 PM

  11. No Brian Brown. Indiana is NOT a critical state. Just look at Utah. THAT was a critical state..

    Posted by: Richard | Dec 27, 2013 4:53:14 AM

  12. The KKK started in Indiana, and actually sent representatives to Congress as an organized political party. There is still activity of the extreme right wing all over Indiana. THAT"s what Brown is referring to. Utah is very conservative, but in a moneyed, non-cross burning way. Indiana is conservative in a very......different.....way.

    Either way, it's up to the Federal Judges now, as it should have been all along. Allowing the majority to vote on rights for the minority is crazy. It's why there is a judiciary.

    Posted by: Rob | Dec 27, 2013 6:09:02 AM

  13. Jonty: The fact that Oregon didn't pass a marijuana referendum doesn't mean much for gay equality. After all, exactly two states have legal marijuana, while about 18 have marriage equality.

    Posted by: BillyFLA | Dec 27, 2013 8:25:22 AM

  14. Thanks for this summary of the article in The New York Times on Wednesday.

    I recognize that you aren't exactly copying what they wrote but the courtesy of a reference to your source might be nice.

    Posted by: Buster | Dec 27, 2013 3:20:30 PM

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