Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

January 19, 2014

Editorial: Constitutional gay marriage ban would be a black mark for Indiana

For months now guest editorials on this page have consistently denounced efforts by Indiana Statehouse Republicans to approve an amendment to the state’s Constitution banning gay marriage and other unions similar to it. Now deemed House Joint Resolution No. 3, the proposed Indiana constitutional amendment was passed by both the House and Senate in 2013. If passed by both houses during this short session, the question would be put to a statewide referendum. If ratified by a majority of voters, the bill would become Article 1, Section 38 of Indiana’s Constitution.

Two of HJR-3’s co-authors represent portions of our readership — Republicans Wes Culver of Goshen and Tim Wesco of Osceola. The other two co-authors are Republicans Eric Turner of Cicero and Rhonda Rhodes of Corydon.

Here’s the synopsis of the bill: Provides that only marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. Provides that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.

On Monday the House Judiciary Committee met for roughly four hours in the House chambers, hearing emotional testimony both for and against HJR-3. The committee adjourned without taking a vote and it is not known when it will reconvene.

SO NOW WE ADD our masthead to those who oppose this bill. Our hope is that the Republican super majority in the Statehouse will reject HJR-3, which we see as an unnecessary assault against human dignity. This bill is not for the betterment of our fine state. It is a power play against the evolving sentiment and tolerance toward homosexuals and their ability to live their lives within the same rights as anybody else.

Chambers of Commerce and big Indiana businesses have also come out against the constitutional ban. For a Republican Party that preached a “business friendly” philosophy during the “Right To Work” debate in previous years, this seems contrary to that proclamation — Businesses welcome, gay owners, executives or employees not welcome.

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Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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