(AP) — The Indiana Republican Party's new platform makes no mention of
same-sex marriage, even though GOP gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence has
sought a national ban in Congress and legislators have pushed to put a ban
in the state constitution.
Democrats, meanwhile, will vote this weekend on a platform that includes
taking a stance against the state constitutional amendment after being
silent on the matter for the last several years, The Indianapolis Star
reported Thursday (http://indy.st/OHIutH
executive director of the conservative American Family Association of
Indiana, which wants Indiana to have some type of ban in the constitution,
said he was disappointed by Republicans' silence this year. The GOP
platform has in recent years emphasized that marriage should be only
between a man and a woman
"That kind of
caught me off-guard," Clark said.
congressman, Pence voted to add a gay marriage ban into the U.S.
Constitution. Democratic nominee John Gregg also opposes same-sex marriage
and voted for a state ban when he was Indiana House speaker.
for a party to contradict their candidates at the top of the ticket,"
Republican Party spokesman Pete Seat downplayed the importance of the
change in the state platform, which was approved during the party
convention last weekend.
"A lot of
issues are covered; a lot weren't," Seat said. "This platform reflects the
broader priorities of the Indiana Republican Party."
In the past,
Indiana Democratic leaders have tried to distance themselves from their
national party on issues such as allowing gay marriage.
Democratic Party Chairman Dan Parker said: "Opinion on this has
dramatically changed since the Republican Party in Indiana started pushing
for an amendment in 2004. We are taking a stand for the first time saying
that the party is in opposition to amending the Indiana constitution. We
do not think that it's necessary."
leader of the Indiana Stonewall Democrats, an organization for gay
Democrats, said he considered the platform change a victory.
ecstatic that we're getting a stance against the amendment," he said.
"We've never had that before."
Democratic platform, however, is at odds with some party members in the
General Assembly. When the legislature voted in 2011 for an amendment
banning same-sex marriage, 11 Democrats voted with 59 Republicans to
approve it in the House, while three Democrats joined 37 Republicans to
support it in the Senate.
must be approved again by the Legislature elected in November to be
considered by voters in the fall 2014 election.
an Indianapolis restaurant owner and a lesbian who was on the GOP platform
committee, said the platform change was "a big step" for her party.
She said the
silence on same-sex marriage — coupled with the inclusion of a statement
saying Republicans "embrace, encourage and will work to ensure the
opportunity for full participation of ALL citizens in government" — will
help the party reach out to younger Republicans.
marriage as something that should be open to everybody," Saris said.