Monday, September 23, 2013
Ind. Law - "Lawmakers get pressure from conservative group on same-sex marriage ban"
In more legislative news today, the Indianapolis Star has a long front-page story by Barb Berggoetz that begins:
More than three months before the 2014 Indiana legislative session begins, pressure is building for lawmakers to stake their ground — again — in the fight over putting a same-sex marriage ban in the state constitution.
Advance America, a prominent conservative interest group supporting the proposed amendment, has asked legislators to answer a survey about their voting intentions by Wednesday. * * *
Within the Senate Republican caucus, the discussion Tuesday could be different than it was in 2011, when the proposed amendment easily cleared the legislature.
Some lawmakers are keeping an eye on changing public attitudes toward same-sex couples.
“I think the times have changed, as have people’s attitudes toward it,” said Sen. Thomas Wyss, R-Fort Wayne, who voted for the amendment in 2011.
While he feels strongly that marriage should be between a man and a woman, Wyss said he is “uncomfortable” with a provision in the proposed amendment that also would ban civil unions.
“This time, I’ll just go through the same (thinking) process,” said Wyss, who is not running for re-election next year. “If I still feel that strongly, I will vote that way again. If it’s amended, that gives me more credence.”
He said his Advance America poll “went into the trash” like most surveys he receives. * * *
Interest groups polling legislators about their views on upcoming topics is not unusual, especially before an election. But some legislators say they routinely don’t answer such polls — even if they support the issue in question — because their answers can be misinterpreted and wrongly used against them. They say a bill might end up being worded differently or amended in a way that would change their stance. * * *
Advance America, which identifies itself as pro-family, pro-church, pro-tax reform and pro-private and home school organization, says it has 45,000 families, 3,700 churches and 1,500 businesses as supporters.
The newly formed Freedom Indiana coalition working against the amendment — buoyed with twin $100,000 checks from Eli Lilly and Co. and Cummins Inc. — isn’t planning to formally poll legislators, said campaign manager Megan Robertson.
She said the group’s focus is on “making sure constituents who support our efforts know how to contact legislators and have the right information, resources and tools to talk to them about how this amendment will negatively affect their lives, families, friends, businesses and the state.”
Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 23, 2013 09:32 AM
Posted to Indiana Law