Indy Chamber Joins Effort To Oppose Same-Sex Marriage Ban

By Emma Koch - NBC33

Credit: WTHR

Indy Chamber Joins Effort To Oppose Same-Sex Marriage Ban

October 22, 2013 Updated Oct 22, 2013 at 4:05 PM EDT

INDIANA (WTHR) -- The Indy Chamber says a proposed amendment to change Indiana's constitution to define marriage would hurt the state. The Chamber announced Tuesday its plans to join a statewide effort to oppose the amendment, known as HJR-6.

The amendment would permanently alter the Indiana Constitution to define marriage and would remove existing protections under law for same-sex and unmarried couples and families.

"The Indy Chamber is in the business of strengthening our economy and attracting top talent to our region," said John Thompson, Chair, Indy Chamber Board of Directors. "The proposed marriage amendment does nothing to help show the nation that Indiana is a place that welcomes all, not just some, and we must be mindful of how actions such as this will impact our competitiveness on a national and global level."

The Chamber has concerns about the legal ramifications of the amendment, saying that
"no one has been able to clearly define what effects the amendment would have on existing marriages, employer-provided family benefits, human rights ordinances, legal contracts and other protections for all unmarried couples."

The Indy Chamber isn't the first group to express opposition to the amendment, which could go to voters for a referendum next year. A group known as Freedom Indiana held a news conference in August 2013 outlining its reasons for opposing the change.

The Chamber cites opposition from large employers like Eli Lilly and Cummins. Those businesses are concerned the amendment will "harm the state's economy and prevent job creators from recruiting top talent to Indiana."

Many opponents, including the Chamber, argue that the amendment would duplicate existing Indiana law, which already defines marriage between one man and one woman. The Chamber calls it "a distraction from building momentum in the state legislature to address economic and workforce development challenges in the Indianapolis region and across the state."

The Indy Chamber says it will work with "other business, faith and community organizations to defeat HJR-6 at the Statehouse and, if necessary, to participate in any voter referendum on the issue."

To view the complete position statement click here.

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