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August 27, 2013

THEIR VIEW: Heavy hitters join marriage ban

Some of Indiana’s heaviest hitters formally joined the campaign last week against an amendment that would write a ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution. Corporate giants Eli Lilly and Co. and Columbus-based Cummins Inc., lined up with human rights groups against the amendment, which should come before the Indiana General Assembly in January.

The constitutional amendment has already passed the legislature one time, but it must pass again for the amendment to become a part of constitutional law.

Lilly and Cummins plus other supporters of the new alliance recognize the importance of making Indiana a business friendly state for gays, lesbians and transsexuals. Indeed, if Indiana further shuts its door to gays and lesbians, it sends a message that skilled, talented workers and companies owned by gays, lesbians and transsexuals are not welcomed in Indiana, a state that needs new jobs. Indiana has no business attempting to drive jobs, businesses and industries away to other states.

According to the Associated Press, Lilly executive Ron Smith said, “We really need to recruit the very best and the very brightest. We think writing this language into the state’s highest legal document will provide a barrier to those efforts.”

The AP said about 62 percent of Fortune 500 companies offer same-sex domestic partner health benefits. The AP obtained that information from the Human Rights Campaign.

As we have said, statutory law already bans same sex marriage in Indiana, so to us, the proposed constitutional ban constitutes piling on by opponents of gay marriage.

In addition, the proposed Indiana constitutional amendment would also ban civil unions by same-sex couples.

Of course, backers of the proposed constitutional amendment have their own heavy hitters, among them Gov. Mike Pence, who billed himself as the “jobs” governor. We fail to see how discouraging some workers from coming to Indiana is a pro-jobs effort.

— Evansville Courier & Press

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