NewsLocal News / November 12, 2013

Council Votes to Oppose HJR-6

Sam Klemet
Council Votes to Oppose HJR-6

Indianapolis city leaders are calling on the state to reject a proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage in the Indiana Constitution.

The City County Council approved a resolution, 22-6, urging the General Assembly to reject the amendment known as HJR-6.

Vice President Democrat John Barth says it sends a message that Indianapolis is city for everyone.

"Indianapolis and Indiana are places that are welcoming for all to live, work, play, and raise families," he said.  "Simply put, our city needs to attract and retain citizens who want to work with us to make this city the best it can be.  In my opinion and the opinion of this resolution, everyone is welcome."

Mayor Greg Ballard also is opposed to the constitutional ban saying it does not show "Hoosier Hospitality."

But, Republican councilor Virginia Cain says the decision on how the state defines marriage should be left to voters.

"I'd like to see this process move forward to get through the legislature and get to the people for the vote, so it can be decided by Hoosiers and not a select few," said Cain.  "To me, marriage is a beautiful gift from God - the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He invented it.  He defined it for our benefit and for the benefit of children and I will stand to protect it."

Cain, Aaron Freeman, Jason Holliday, Marilyn Pfisterer, Jack Sandlin, and Christine Scales - all Republicans - voted against the measure.

Democratic councilor Angela Mansfield fired back arguing that the council resolution is an important step in showing the openness of Indianapolis.

"I think equality is important for everyone," said Mansfield.  "When you start discriminating against your own citizens, it just leads to a more depressed society.  So, I think it's very important that we don't do that."

If the General Assembly approves the amendment, Hoosiers would vote on adding the ban to the constitution in November 2014.