INDIANAPOLIS - Amending a same-sex marriage ban into Indiana's
constitution would affect 614 laws that are already on the state's
books, according to a new report. Over nine months of analysis, a
group of students at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law
said such an amendment's impact would range from blocking same-sex
couples from receiving tax and pension benefits to allowing those
couples to skirt conflict-of-interest laws.
"Our goal in this project has been to create an impartial
resource that will facilitate a discussion on what a constitutional
amendment actually involves," said Cara M. Johnson, one of the law
students who worked on the report.
The result is a list of 614 reasons for Indiana to reject the
amendment, said Rick Sutton, the former president of Indiana
Equality Action, a pro-gay rights group.
"I think the sheer volume of potential conflicts and issues is
going to surprise a lot of people," he said, predicting that
adopting the amendment would prompt countless county-and state-
level legal battles over its implications.
Until the Nov. 6 election, opponents of same-sex marriage won
electoral battles in 32 consecutive states. But this year, same-sex
marriage proponents won statewide ballot battles in Maine,
Maryland, Minnesota and Washington.
Indiana lawmakers are considering whether to take the second step
of the three-step process to amend the same-sex marriage ban into
the state's constitution. If they do, voters would have the final
say in a November 2014 referendum.
"The voters are way ahead of the General Assembly on this issue.
Should it go to the ballot in 2014, we already have a campaign plan
prepared. We're ready," Sutton said. He predicted the issue would
receive the same amount of attention as a governor's race.
"We watched Nov. 6, too, and the national momentum on this is
moving very, very quickly, and very, very well in our opinion.
Public opinion polls are quite clear: The public does not want to
see their constitution amended for this issue."
Eric Miller, head of Advance America and an advocate for a
constitutional amendment limiting marriage to one man and one
woman, said the report is not persuasive.
"The amendment is not new. The debate is not new. The debate is
very, very simple: Should Indiana pass a constitutional amendment
to protect marriage as between one man and one woman? The voters of
Indiana deserve to have that say," he said.
Miller said just like opponents, the advocates of the amendment
will roll out a coordinated campaign that will involve emails and
mailers, public service announcements, and reaching out to church
"We'll continue to mobilize our grass roots network of several
thousand churches of families throughout the state of Indiana to
support the marriage amendment in the 2013 General Assembly, and
then we'll be educating people about the importance of this
amendment come November 2014," Miller said. …