INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A bipartisan group of Indiana mayors, including those of
some of the state’s largest cities, announced their opposition Tuesday to
placing Indiana’s ban on gay marriage in the state constitution.
The mayors of Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Evansville, South Bend and Hammond
were among those expressing opposition because they said the proposed
constitutional ban would hurt their cities economically and deny equal
rights to same-sex couples.
"Indiana law already defines marriage and I don’t see the overriding
government interest in adding such an amendment to our state’s
constitution,” Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, a Republican, said in a
statement distributed by Freedom Indiana, a coalition of business groups and
individuals fighting the amendment.
Fort Wayne’s Tom Henry, a Democrat who leads the state’s second-largest
city, also came out against the constitutional ban in a statement also
distributed by the coalition.
“We’re asking the Indiana General Assembly to focus its attention on issues
that help cities across our state be more competitive in economic
development,” Henry said.
If the proposed constitutional ban wins legislative approval in 2014, it
then would go before voters in a referendum. Supporters of a constitutional
ban say it’s needed to solidify Indiana’s law banning same-sex marriage
against potential court decisions that would strike it down.
Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke, a Republican, wrote southwestern Indiana
lawmakers explaining his opposition to the proposed amendment. The
Evansville Courier & Press reported that Winnecke wrote he considers the
amendment unnecessarily divisive and that economic development, jobs and the
quality of life are the most important issues for the state’s third-largest
The other 11 mayors announced their opposition through Freedom Indiana. They
included the mayors of South Bend, Hammond, Carmel, Valparaiso, Kokomo,
Anderson, Bloomington, West Lafayette and Angola.
Micah Clark, executive director of the pro-amendment American Family
Association of Indiana, told The Indianapolis Star he has not asked any
mayors to speak out in support of the ban.
“It’s like asking my mechanic for advice about my cholesterol,” he said. “I
think most mayors realize that this is not a city issue. It is an amendment
that protects state statutes. These statutes are the purview of the General
Clark said it’s “amazing how many leaders want to tell the Legislature of
their support for homosexual marriage, but they don’t want the people to
have their say next November, as 36 states have done. The future of marriage
belongs in the hands of Hoosier voters, not a few liberal mayors, CEOs or