Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

GOP Keeps Its Marriage Language ; Delegates Set Nov. Slate

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

GOP Keeps Its Marriage Language ; Delegates Set Nov. Slate

Article excerpt

FORT WAYNE - Support of traditional marriage as between one man and one woman is back in the Indiana Republican Party platform, after delegates at Saturday's state convention rejected an attempt to remove the language. The majority of the approximately 1,500 delegates attending favored keeping the platform as it was proposed, with Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann, who helped lead the design of the platform, encouraging party unity before debate took place.

Supporters of the platform said the language on marriage included a compromise to acknowledge diverse family structures. But two amendments were brought forward, with those opposed to the traditional family language waving signs of "grow our party." Convention delegates in favor or against the amendments took turns standing to show their vote. Both amendments failed on visual tallies.

One amendment would have changed the plank dealing with marriage to language from the 2012 platform that supported "strong families" as the foundation of virtue, but did not speak to the makeup of the family. The other sought to add to the platform that the party should pursue solutions on social issues in a way that fosters harmony.

The approved language reads: "We believe that strong families, based on marriage between a man and a woman, are the foundation of society. We also recognize that some families are much more diverse and we support the blended families, grandparents, guardians and loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their potential every day."

Marion County delegate Tom John proposed the change to the marriage language that he said would not divide the party. John said the debate was not whether delegates supported gay marriage but about party unity.

"What we heard from (Ellspermann) is that every other provision in the platform was done by consensus - save one," John said.

Rush County GOP Chairman Michael Dora asked delegates to vote against the amendment attempt.

"We should always treat people with grace, love and dignity but that doesn't mean abandoning our principles," Dora said.

Vanderburgh County delegates hoped the marriage language will serve as a good compromise and allow the party to move forward from the divisiveness of the issue. …

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