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!!!!!!!! Search error!  If the URL ends something like .htm/  or .htm# delete the character(s) after .htm and hit return.

Same-sex marriages (SSM) in Indiana.

Part 2

Indiana's proposed constitutional amendment to
ban SSM
s, civil unions & domestic partnerships:
Recent polls (Cont'd). House committee hearing.
4 couples file lawsuit seeking marriage equality.

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This topic is continued from the previous essay.

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Details of recent public opinion polls:

  • 2012: The WISH-TV/Ball State University Hoosier Survey in 2012 found that 54% of adults opposed the Constitutional Amendment to ban SSMs etc. Only 38% were in favor. 8% were uncertain or did not respond. 1

  • 2013-SEP: An unrelated poll was sponsored by the Indiana Family Institute (IFI) which opposes marriage equality. IFI is the state affiliate of the Family Research Council, the latter being an anti-LGBT organization classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 2

    Their poll's results were totally at variance to the above University poll and all subsequent polls. It found that 62% of likely voters favored the amendment, while 33% opposed the amendment. It was conducted on 2013-SEP-24 and 25 by Wilson Perkins Allen Opinion Research a Republican polling agency. 3

In all our extensive monitoring of state and national polls on SSM-related topics, we have never seen two polls on the same topic with this level of disagreement.

  • 2013-SEP: Another poll was sponsored by Freedom Indiana -- who support marriage equality. It was conducted by Bellwether Research & Consulting between SEP-17 and 19 among 800 registered voters. They found that 64% opposed the amendment while 36% favored it. It was opposed by 57% of Republicans and two-thirds of independents and Democrats. 4

  • 2013-OCT: Another WISH-TV/Ball State University Hoosier Survey found that opposition to the Amendment had risen to 58% while support remained constant at 38% when compared to their previous year's poll. 4% were uncertain or did not respond. Opposition is 77% among Democrats and 40% among Republicans.

The poll's margin of error is ±4.8 percentage points. 1 Unfortunately, the question asked during the survey did not reveal that the amendment would ban civil unions and domestic partnerships in addition to same-sex marriages. If those sampled realized the broad nature of the amendment, opposition would probably have been much higher. 5

This poll was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International among 600 adults on 2013-OCT-08 to 21.

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2013-OCT: Response to the massive conflict in the polling data:

Governor Mike Pence said:

"The fact that we have competing public opinion polls really underscores the reason why we should just let Hoosiers decide." 6

To which "IndyReader" responded in the comments section of the same article:

" This makes no sense at all. The fact that the issue is still controversial, and the undeniable fact that the tide of opinion is changing in one direction only, is a sign that the government should stay the heck out of the matter until opinion has settled, rather than trying to freeze into our state constitution the last remnant of a public opinion that will only become more unpopular over time, and over which we'll only incur more expense and more ill-feeling to correct later on.

Pence has my vote of NO CONFIDENCE. No confidence in his restraint against legislating his own personal religious dogma. No confidence in his ability to represent ALL citizens of Indiana. No confidence in his ability to follow simple logic -- based on his statement quoted above. His conclusion is simply non sequitur. It does not follow from the facts at hand." 6

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2014-JAN-13: The House Judiciary Committee considers the amendment:

The 13 members of the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on the proposed "House Joint Resolution 3" to send the marriage amendment to the voters on election day in 2014-NOV.

Representative Eric Turner (R) said:

"This issue has been in front of us since 2004, and it is time to bring it to a close." 7

Executives representing businesses in Indiana testified that the amendment would hurt their companies financially. Stephen Fry, senior vice president of human resources and diversity at Eli Lilly, said:

"Top talent will go elsewhere. Indiana doesn't have mountains and oceans, so all it has is a friendly and welcoming environment. This hurts not just recruitment but retention. Some of our best employees are edgy about staying."

Micah Clark represented the American Family Association of Indiana (AFA-IN) at the hearing. The AFA-IN is the state affiliate of the national AFA -- the latter being another anti-LGBT organization classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. 9 Clark denied that personnel recruitment and retention would be a problem, saying:

"The economic arguments against it are a bogeyman. North Carolina has a similar law and it is thriving."

Rep. Jerry Torr (R) commented:

"My thought is if we pass this thing and then people are very emotional, we have this probably very nasty ballot campaign until the November election. Both sides will spend tens of millions of dollars and if it passes, nothing will change for Indiana." 8

The hearings closed without a vote on whether to transfer the bill to the full House for a vote. The committee chairperson, Greg Steuerwald, said:

"I'm giving committee members time to reflect on all the testimony and then I'll make a decision on when we'll convene." 7

The amendment is redundant because Indiana already has a statute that bans same-sex marriage. It may turn out that the only use this amendment will have is to be a target at some future constitutional challenge in a federal District Court similar to that in 2013-DEC in Utah and 2014-JAN in Oklahoma. But, time will tell.

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2014-MAR-07: Four same-sex couples file lawsuit seeking same-sex marriage in Indiana:

Between late 2013-DEC and late-2014-FEB there have been opinions and rulings issued by many federal District Court judges in many states that have legalized same-sex marriage. All of the rulings have been stayed pending appeals. One example is In Kentucky, where District Court Judge Heyburn issued an opinion on 2014-FEB-12. He determined that the laws in Kentucky and the amendments to its constitution that ban same-sex marriages:

"... violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution, and they are void and unenforceable." 5

These are the same grounds as also have been used in rulings by District Court judges in same-sex marriage cases in Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, and Virginia as well as Kentucky between late 2013-DEC and late-2014-FEB. All have found SSM bans in state Constitution's to be void and unenforceable.

The lawsuits are so similar that we will only give highlights of the Indiana case here:

  • State: Indiana
  • Plaintiffs: four same-sex couples.
  • Two couples: Melissa Love & Erin Brock, and Michael Drury & Lane Stumler are unmarried and want to marry in Indiana.
  • Two couples: Jennifer Redmond & Jana Kohors who were married in New York and Jo Ann Dale & Carol Uebelhoer who were married in Massachusetts want their marrage recognized in Indiana.
  • Seek: Ruling that the Indiana Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, and that same-sex couples can marry.
  • Text of the lawsuit: See: http://documents.latimes.com/
  • Filed: 2014-MAR-07
  • Plaintiffs"s lawyer: Dan Canon of Kentucky who won a similar case in Kentucky. 10

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This topic continues in the next essay

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above notes. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. Jon Murray, "Poll: Majority of Hoosiers oppose same-sex marriage amendment," Indy Star, 2013-NOV-13, at: http://www.indystar.com/
  2. Evelyn Schlatter, "18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda," Southern Poverty Law Center, 2010, at: http://www.splcenter.org/
  3. "Poll Shows Strong Support for Marriage Amendment among Hoosier Voters," Indiana Family Institute, 2013-OCT-10, at: http://www.hoosierfamily.org/
  4. "Indiana statewide poll," Bellwether Research & Consulting, 2013-SEP-22, at: https://docs.google.com/
  5. Claire McInerny, "Poll: 58 Percent Of Hoosiers Oppose Gay Marriage Ban," Indiana Public Media, 2013-NOV-14, at: http://indianapublicmedia.org/
  6. Jim Shella, "Pence reacts to new poll on gay marriage ban," WISHTV, 2013-OCT-11, at: http://www.wishtv.com/
  7. "Indiana Lawmakers Weigh Constitutional Gay Marriage Ban," Reuters, 2014-JAN-13, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/
  8. Tony Cook & Barb Berggoetz, "Pressure builds for Ind. lawmakers on gay marriage ban," Indianapolis Star, 2014-JAN-12, at: http://www.usatoday.com/
  9. Dave Bohon, "SPLC Targets 18 'Anti-Gay' Pro-family Groups," New American, 2010-DEC-03, at: http://www.thenewamerican.com
  10. Paresh Dave, "Indiana same-sex couples sue to have marriages recognized," Los Angeles Times, 2014-MAR-08, at: http://www.latimes.com/
  11. Zack Ford, "Federal Judge Orders Indiana To Recognize Terminally Ill Woman’s Same-Sex Marriage," Think Progress, 2014-APR-14, at: http://thinkprogress.org/
  12. Charles D. Wilson, "Federal Judge: Indiana Must Recognize Gay Couple's Marriage," Huffington Post, 2015-APR-15, at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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Copyright © 2014 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Initially posted: 2014-JAN-17
Latest update: 2014-APR-14
Author: B.A. Robinson
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