Valpo council opposes gay marriage ban

2013-12-23T20:30:00Z 2013-12-23T20:34:38Z Valpo council opposes gay marriage banPhil Wieland phil.wieland@nwi.com, (219) 548-4352 nwitimes.com
December 23, 2013 8:30 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | The Valparaiso City Council on Monday voiced its opposition to submitting a proposed gay marriage ban amendment to a statewide vote in the fall.

The council voted 5-0 to approve a resolution stating the primary purpose of the Indiana Constitution is to limit the power of government and protect the rights of residents.

The action follows a recent statement by Mayor Jon Costas opposing a constitutional ban. Costas says such a ban would be bad for economic development and a duplication of the state law banning such marriages.

Councilmen John Bowker and Jan Dick were absent.

In introducing the resolution, Councilwoman Deb Butterfield said a number of cities and towns have adopted such resolutions as has the Porter County Board of Commissioners.

"It's time to get past this discussion," Butterfield said, echoing the resolution's language that "it does not represent the city's values as an open, welcoming community for all people."

Councilman Joey Larr agreed and asked if it was time to include language asking the General Assembly to repeal the state law, too.

Butterfield said she would be happy to accept an addendum to the resolution to that effect but added, "I don't know if the intent (of those opposed to the amendment) is to take it one step at a time."

The resolution cites a study of the proposed amendment by Indiana University Maurer School of Law that found more than 600 rights and obligations related to marriage that could be permanently denied if it is approved.

It also quotes the Indiana Interfaith Coalition on Non-Discrimination that the amendment "flies in the face" of the state's Bill of Rights guarantees of the "free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions" by "preferring and codifying one particular religious view of marriage."

The marriage ban amendment was scheduled to be considered by the legislature for the second time during the upcoming session starting in January. Amendments have to be approved twice in the legislature before being submitted to the voters.

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