Gay Indiana Candidate Leaves the Republican Party Over GOP Drive for Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Andy Markle, a gay Republican running for state representative in Indianapolis, announced he is leaving the Republican Party on Tuesday in response by the Indiana House Speaker's power play on marriage equality which advanced the gay marriage ban to the full Indiana House.

MarkleWrote Markle on Facebook Tuesday:

Today is a day that will never be forgotten in the hearts of many Hoosiers, including my own. For the past few years, we have seen political posturing occur over a divisive amendment that has been the subject of great scrutiny by constitutional lawyers, economists, business persons and even politicians. We have seen a state divide over an issue that should have never been an issue. We have seen a state full of hospitality become a breeding ground for inequality and a debate that does not show the true values that the Hoosier State encompasses.

It deeply saddens me to see the state that I have called home for the past 8 years plunge into a debate over a minority group's civil rights. 

It is with a heavy heart but with a clear conscience that I announce the end of my run for Indiana State House of Representatives, District 99, as a Republican. With today's announcement by House Speaker Brian Bosma, that he is using extraordinary and unprecedented rules to change House Joint Resolution 3's committee assignment, I have no choice but to resign my candidacy as a Republican. 

As an openly gay male and a conservative, I find it deplorable that the state would choose to take such extraordinary measures to disenfranchise me and my fellow LGBT brothers and sisters. In an era where my party declared that it was the party of "small government" and "less intrusion", it has been confirmed that it is not the party of small government or less intrusion. 

I am not leaving the Republican Party; the Republican Party has left me.

HJR-3, the constitutional ban on gay marriage, was moved to the Elections and Apportionment Committee by House Speaker Brian Bosma in a power play after it began to look like it might fail in the House Judiciary Committee. Bosma's unusual move turned out to be successful for the anti-gay conservatives. The bill passed 9-3 yesterday and now moves to the full House. The amendment would need to pass two separately-elected General Assemblies and be approved by a voter majority in a public referendum before becoming part of the constitution.

(via think progress)