A group of 11 Indiana mayors, including Anderson's Kevin Smith, did the right thing a few weeks ago by taking a public stand on the issue of gay marriage.
In a joint statement on the Freedom Indiana website, the mayors opposed a legislative resolution that could lead to an amendment to the state constitution. The amendment would ban gay marriage in Indiana.
Eli Lilly, the state chamber of commerce and others have taken strong stands against a constitutional amendment because, they say, it would harm the business environment in Indiana. Indeed, companies that employ gay workers and others who favor equal rights for same-sex couples might shy away from a state that has taken extreme measures.
The group of mayors — six Republicans and five Democrats — expressed similar concerns. A gay marriage amendment would paint Indiana as an intolerant, exclusive state, rather than an inclusive one that welcomes a variety of people.
House Joint Resolution 6 would represent a major step toward elevating Indiana's current law banning same-sex marriage to a constitutional amendment. Indiana voters would have to approve such an amendment in a referendum in November 2014. But if the legislative resolution fails, there will be no referendum.
“We actively work to recruit businesses to our city, not just locally or nationally, but globally," Smith said in a statement. "HJR-6 harms those efforts. It is important that Indiana remain a welcoming community focused on those things that can grow our economy.”
The issue of gay marriage, of course, stirs deep-seated emotions. Many oppose it on moral grounds. Many support it on moral grounds.
But it seems appropriate that Indiana mayors would form an opinion based on practicality — what's best for their communities.
And that's just what Smith and these 10 other mayors have done. Perhaps their stand will spur others to take action against the resolution.
In summary A gay marriage amendment would paint Indiana as an intolerant, exclusive state, rather than an inclusive one that welcomes a variety of people.