Indiana's proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions was dealt another blow last night after the Indianapolis City-County Council passed a resolution denouncing the proposed bill. The measure passed with bipartisan support - 15 Democrats and 7 Republicans voted in favor with only 6 Republican councilors supporting the measure. Republican Mayor Greg Ballard also joined the resolution urging the legislature to drop the attempt to discriminate against gay and lesbian couples.
Other Republican politicians have also announced they would not support the amendment during this year's legislative session - including those who previously supported it. Republican Representative Sean Eberhart, who voted for the amendment in 2011, recently announced a change of heart and credited his children for helping him evolve.
"I won't support it again. I made a mistake in 2011, and I have reversed my stance completely. My kids were a big reason why, and they enlightened me on how their generation feels about the issue, Eberhart told the Shelbyville News. "For us to put that amendment in the Constitution and to lockdown generations with bigotry is wrong. It is flat out wrong. This issue has changed. In 2006, when I was elected, I think a wide majority supported putting it in the Constitution, but times change. There is nothing wrong with changing your stance, and you have to re-evalute issues from time to time. I will not support it if it comes up again."
Freedom Indiana, a local coalition dedicated to fighting the amendment in the legislature, has gained major support from other areas recently. Major educational institutions like Indiana University, DePauw University and Wabash College have announced they will join the coalition - teaming with Fortune 500 companies like Cummins Engine Company, Eli Lilly, and Emmis Communications, plus both the Libertarian and Democratic parties to defeat the amendment.
Speaker of the House Brian Bosma has not said whether or not he will bring the proposed amendment to the floor. While he infamously said years ago that the amendment was the most important priority for state Republicans, he has now said that "social issues" are not an important consideration for the legislature this year.
If the amendment is not voted on by the end of the upcoming session, it will die. If it passes, it will go to referendum in November 2014. Recent polling has shown that the majority of Hoosiers - including Republican voters - oppose the amendment.