He called Wednesday’s court rulings a “major victory for both equal protection and states’ rights” but added: “Just because a state may have the right to do something, however, doesn’t mean it should. The marriage amendment is wrong for Indiana, and I will continue to oppose it.”
Independent polling shows waning support in Indiana for a same-sex marriage amendment. Last October, the Howey/DePauw Indiana Battleground Poll showed only 45 percent of Hoosier voters would support a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Among younger voters, the percentage was much less.
The 2012 Hoosier Survey by the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University in December found that while Indiana residents are evenly split on the question of whether same-sex marriage should be legalized, 54 percent are against putting a ban on it into the state constitution.
“Opinion has turned as our Hoosier Survey illustrates in favor of same sex marriages,” said Joe Losco, chair of Ball State’s political science department. “Nevertheless, there is likely to be substantial political push back from conservative forces. Today’s decisions mean the political battle lines in the states are drawn, and the battles will commence.”
If HJR6 does come up for a vote next session as expected, it needs only a simple majority vote by both chambers of the Indiana General Assembly to clear the way for the marriage ban resolution to go on the November 2014 ballot, and the pressure from marriage-ban amendment supporters is likely to be intense.
The Indiana Family Institute issued a statement Wednesday saying the court’s rulings won’t end its fight to write Indiana’s current same-sex marriage ban into the state constitution.
“As disappointing as this decision is, the debate over marriage continues. We believe voters — not activist judges — should decide the definition of marriage,” the statement said.