The Indianapolis Star this morning makes public the intention of the Cummins Engine to testify against the passage of SJR-7, an amendment to the State Constitution which would invalidate the equal protection clause for gay and lesbians citizens, ban civil union for same sex couples, and remove the force of law from any legislative measure that would extend any legal incident of marriage to a same sex couple.
Cummins Engine is one of Indiana's premiere employers, an international leader in the manufacture of diesel engines. The decision by this Fortune 500 company to oppose SJR-7 is nationally precedent-setting, representing the first time a corporate citizen has spoken up to oppose an attempt to amend a state constitution to remove protections for same sex couples.
Cummins CEO Tim Solso has sent a letter to House Speaker Pat Bauer, saying the amendment would hurt Cummins' ability to attract the best employees:
"Anything that makes Indiana a less inclusive and less welcoming place for our current and future employees is bad for our business -- and bad for the state."
Cummins testimony, arranged and coordinated through Indiana Equality, represents an important step for Indiana employers. Cummins no doubt will experience the same attempts at local intimidation they experienced in the past when they offered domestic partnership coverage to same sex employees. I urge you to write Cummins to express your appreciation for the courageous stand this company has taken.
First Republicans President Syd Steele will also be testifying against this measure. It is a core principle of First Republicans that the United States Constitution and its Bill of Rights is the bedrock of American freedom. "The individual rights and freedoms established in federal and state constitutions must be protected from amendment and defended from encroachment."
(This message cross-posted from First Republicans Forum.)