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November 12, 2013

Indianapolis council urges gay marriage ban defeat

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indianapolis City-County Council has joined the city’s Republican mayor in opposing efforts to write Indiana’s ban on gay marriage into the state constitution.

Council members voted 22-6 Monday night in support of a resolution urging the Legislature to reject the proposed constitutional amendment. The resolution comes as organizers of a campaign against the amendment have won support from several prominent opponents, including Eli Lilly and Co., the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and Indiana University.

Democratic council Vice President John Barth, a sponsor of the resolution, said the city and state need to present themselves as welcoming places for all people.

“Simply put, our city needs to attract and retain citizens who want to work with us to make this the best place it can be,” Barth said.

All 15 council Democrats supported the resolution, along with seven Republicans. Six Republican council members voted against it.

Mayor Greg Ballard signed the resolution last week, saying he didn’t see a need for the constitutional amendment since state law already prohibits same-sex marriages.

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro-Tem David Long, both Republicans, have said they expect the Legislature will vote during its session that starts in January on whether to put the amendment on the November 2014 statewide ballot.

Bosma spokeswoman Tory Flynn said the speaker believed the marriage issue shouldn’t be blocked in the Statehouse.

“What really carries weight is the people and having the chance for the people to weigh in on how they feel on this issue,” Flynn told The Indianapolis Star.

Republican Councilman Aaron Freeman told WTHR-TV that the resolution’s stance was a wrong one for city officials to take.

“I just think it’s bad for one entity to tell another what they should or shouldn’t do,” he said. “It’s a very complicated issue, a very personal issue to people.”

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