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February 6, 2013

HAYDEN: Postponing vote doesn’t tell whole story

(Continued)

INDIANAPOLIS —

Ditto for the results from the 2012 Hoosier Survey done by the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University in December. That poll found that while Indiana residents are evenly split on the question of whether of same-sex marriage should be legalized, 54 percent are against putting a ban on it into the state constitution. 

A national Gallup Poll last November, taken right after Republican Mitt Romney’s crushing defeat, showed more than half of Americans — 53 percent — think that same-sex marriages should be recognized as valid. 

That’s up from 40 percent in 2008, and up from 35 percent in 1999. The Gallup poll also showed that among young voters aged 18-29, 73 percent support same-sex marriage. And almost a third of them identified themselves as Republican.

During last year’s gubernatorial campaign, then-GOP candidate Mike Pence said he favored amending the constitution to ban same-sex marriage [as did his Democratic opponent John Gregg.] But both were out of step with their party platforms: the state Republican Party removed the same-sex marriage ban from its party platform last spring, and the state Democratic Party, for the first time, came out against the ban. 

Now that he’s in office, Gov. Pence is sidestepping the issue, which is another signal of the waning political appeal of the amendment.  When asked about it, Pence repeats his mantra that Hoosiers want him to keep his focus — and that of the General Assembly’s — on more important issues, like improving education and creating jobs. 

— Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com  

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