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July 12, 2013

NASH: Gay marriage in Indiana

A couple of weeks ago the United States Supreme Court handed down a couple of significant decisions that changed the course of gay marriage in America. The first decision struck down key elements of the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law blocking the federal recognition of gay marriage. By declining to render a decision in a California case they allowed gay marriage to resume in that state. Across the country gay Americans saw this as a turning point in their battle for equal rights.

Back home in Indiana, our governor took his message to Facebook to issue his official statement on the matter and to announce his displeasure of the Supreme Court’s decision. He also called on the Indiana Legislature to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot for voters to consider next year.  

The governor’s Facebook page was quickly inundated with comments both pro and con concerning his position on gay marriage. Soon some of the comments that disagreed with the governor’s position were removed. At first they were said to be removed due to abusive language or inflammatory comments, this was quickly proven to be untrue.  

Members of his staff were found to have removed comments that essentially just disagreed with the governor. He later apologized for his staff and offered to review the policy concerning the standard of conduct as it relates to social media. He concluded his comments by announcing:

“Hoosiers expect our public debate to be open and respectful and we will ever seek to live up to that standard. In agreement or disagreement, I respect the opinions and the freedoms of all the people of Indiana.”

For someone that respects the freedoms of all of the people of Indiana he has an interesting way of showing it. The Indiana Constitution should be used to preserve the rights of all the citizens of our state, not to limit those rights. Considering adding an amendment to our constitution that eliminates the rights of any citizen of our state is repugnant. The citizens of Indiana deserve better than that from the people we have elected to lead us.

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