Speak Out : Indiana And Gay Marriage…

In recent years we have seen states standing on the right side of history with the passage of many laws in favor of gay marriage. It unfortunately is a different story in the state of Indiana.

The state of Indiana is attempting to pass House Joint Resolution-3 or HJR-3. This bill would ban gay marriage in the state of Indiana, therefore not entitling gay Hoosiers the access to other rights and liberties that married couples receive. There is already a gay marriage ban written in state law, but HJR-3 is different in that the bill would have a gay marriage ban written into the state constitution making it more challenging to rescind. The Indiana House voted on the bill last week. The results were shocking.

As most people know, Indiana has a reputation for being a strongly conservative, Republican state. The House, by a vote of 57-40, voted last week to pass HJR-3 with some Republican legislators not happy with the way the current bill is written.The bill was passed with the exception to remove the second sentence from the bill. HJR-3 states, “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized” ( What does this mean? The bill will now head to the state Senate where they will vote on HJR-3.

HJR-3 now heads to the Indiana State Senate where they will vote on the bill February 10th. Their vote will have 4 possible outcomes: Side with the House vote, Reinstate the second sentence of the bill, change the whole bill altogether, or reject it outright. With either possible outcome, the bill will go back to the House to vote on it again. Hoosiers all across the state, both straight and gay, are writing their state senators urging them to reject HJR-3. As for now, it seems that the bill will remain off the ballot for the November 2014 elections. This is a reprieve for the supporters of gay marriage in Indiana as it will give them more time to persuade their legislators to stand on the right side of history.

As an Indiana resident myself, I find it repulsive that states like Oklahoma and Virginia respectively, who should be more conservative than Indiana, are approving laws in support of gay marriage in recent weeks, or are getting close to that point. If HJR-3 is approved, it will give Indiana a negative reputation. I know I for one don’t want to be associated with a state that has that reputation.

I know most of the readers of this blog are gay men, and it’s clear how you probably feel about HJR-3. But I would like to hear your thoughts anyway. Those of you who are Indiana residents, would you stay in Indiana if it is passed? What are you doing to urge the legislators in your respective district to reject HJR-3?


There are 22 comments

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  1. Antonio

    I am an Indiana citizen as well and, even though I am young and in no where near ready to marry, I find this completely selfish. I feel as if the legislators are only thinking of their ideals and not the ideals of the people. But this is how some governments are, and unfortunately all we can do is hope and pray the bill is not passed.

  2. Mark

    I find it REALLY hard to understand why a State even begins such a process these days. If a gay marriage ban in CA is unconstitutional according to the US Constitution it violates the constitution in every other state as well. Part of me wanted the Supreme Court to make a sweeping decision with their dealings with Prop 8 but another part of me felt that gay marriage would be better validated if fought on a state by state basis. I suspect that we will see the ban tossed out in Virgina, Utah, Michigan and every where else it is being challenged. If any of these cases makes its way to the Supreme Court, which I suspect it will, then perhaps it will be time for the sweeping decision to be made. The law makers in IN could be making much better use of their time than going down this road.

    Now on another subject, WTF is a “Hoosier”?

  3. Thomas

    My partner and live in IN We have been together 20 years in Nov.2013 we went to Iowa and got married. We are in the process of moving out of this state along with our income and assets.

  4. Bobby

    I live in a small town close to Purdue. I have been trying to get everyone involved. Spread the word.

    It disgusts me that there isn’t more media coverage on it.

    It’s always been kinda sad being a gay Hoosier, now it’s just depressing.

  5. apeman

    I agree with your sentiments. I lived in Indiana in my university days, and remember Bloomington as an Oasis of tolerance in a sea of conservative Hoosiers. Would just like to point out that Oklahoma and Virginia are NOT approving laws in support of same sex marriage as you wrote. Their current constitutional bans are being challenged in federal courts (along with those in Utah and several other states).

  6. prosuckman

    I wish Indiana we ould get with it . I t is the2000s if 2 people want to marry weather it be 2 men 2 women man and a woman whoever they are they should have that option this is America !!!!!!!

  7. James

    I am a Indiana resident and even though I am older, and will most likely never marry, I am totally against HJR-3. The supporters of this bill say they are trying to protect traditional marriage between one man and one woman, yet Divorce here in Indiana is rampant! If they want to pass something to protect marriage they should pass something outlawing divorce, not something that restricts the rights of some Hoosiers. HJR-3 also comes with economic fallout. There are some businesses that have said they won’t locate new business locations in Indiana if this passes, because of the negative impact on some of their employees both existing, and future. Other businesses have said they would move existing locations for the same reasons. All and all HJR-3 isn’t just bad for Gays, but for all Hoosiers.

  8. Mandrew

    As an Indiana resident as well, I’m ashamed of our representatives. The company I work for just declared their opposition to HJR-3.. I’m happy there are some progressives in this state!!!

  9. Purdue Graduate

    While I was born in Indiana and went to school there I haven’t lived there in many years so really can’t write my congressman about the Indiana law. HOWEVER, I am a alumni of Purdue which is a state supported university so what I can do is write my alumni association and express my disappointment and let them know they will be losing the significant dollars I give to the school each year since I will not support a state with such biased laws.

  10. buck

    I have been following this for a while I’m a Indiana Gay man. I’m not following this I’m understanding that it will come up on the ballet to allow gay marriage, words of the Gov. So this is new to me

  11. Peter

    The solution is simple… Gay men in Indiana will have to find themselves a dominate female with a strap-on! That way they can get plowed by a big d*ck in a loving heterosexual marriage that is sanctioned by the state! It’s really the only way to prevent those same sex perverts from equal rights GUARANTEED by the US Constitution! 😉

  12. Stan

    As a former, long-time resident of Indiana, I am disappointed that we are still having this discussion in my home state. I agree it violates all of the amendments to the United States Constitution that have been referenced above. However, the news is not all bad.

    The framers of the Indiana Constitution had the foresight to make it very difficult to change the constitution. Any proposed changes to the constitution have to be approved with no wording changes by two consecutively elected legislatures before it gets on the ballot for voters in the state to ratify or not ratify. Indiana has been going through this process since 2004 without securing the votes necessary to advance this damaging legislation to a state-wide referendum.

    The wording change will likely delay any statewide vote until November 2016 when Governor Pence is also up for re-election. If the constitutional change appears on the ballot when he is running for re-election, it may bring out many voters who are likely to vote against the conservative, republican governor. This gives the fair-minded hoosiers more time to appeal to the common sense of the voters.

    The other good news is that this bill passed the Indiana House of Representatives 70 – 26 in 2011. The vote was closer this year (57-40). Opponents of this hurtful and discriminatory legislation are very well-organized and we are making progress. Who knows, maybe Indiana voters will do the right thing and defeat this effort and put it to rest once and for all.


    hello, i live in texas and i want to get married with my boyfriend, can you help me, where can i get married and what should i do…thanks








  15. Delovly83

    As a former Indiana resident, I’m so disappointed that this happening. For as long as I can remember Indiana has always been a republican state and often times, I didn’t like how politicians run the state. Them attempting to pass this bill doesn’t surprise me one bit! Indiana politicians are bullies out to serve in their own best interest, and withhold forward movement for better quality life for Indiana residents. It’s an unfortunate reality on how things are done back home. Personally, I won’t return to live in Indiana, especially if they decide to pass this bill! I can’t associate myself with a state who doesn’t support their own constitutes. I don’t think marriage is for me but I’m not oppose to it but I will support my gay friends back home who want to marry someday! I pray this bill doesn’t pass — fight!

  16. Mark

    I am a gay man who believes in tolerance and acceptance and allowing everyone to pursue their own forms of happiness and contentment. Having said that, I am actually against gay marriage myself – shocking as that may seem. I do believe marriage is between a man and woman and should be kept that way as a foundation for our society and our human race in general. In this country majority rules and if the majority of people in Indiana are against gay marriage then that is the will of the people. Minorities of all kinds need to stop imposing their beliefs on the majority. If we want people to accept us as we are than we also have to reciprocate by accepting others’ beliefs as well.

  17. dennis clayton

    well i am from utah were we are now fight our amandment 3 witch basicaly said about the same thing that indana said it it was deemed uncontinal so now we are waiting to hear on the apple that the state has filed but we had over 3 thasand get merried in the 2 weeks before it was sated and i think that gay merriage will be back in utah by this summer wiych may have an affect on aall states with a ban on hay marriage,

  18. Synn

    “Minorities of all kinds need to stop imposing their beliefs on the majority.”

    Hey genius, I hate to break this to you, but that’s the EXACT reason why we 1) were set up as a Republic, not a Democracy and 2) why we HAVE a constitution in the first place.

    Otherwise, everything becomes a popularity contest, and any minority is always disenfranchised. The whole reason for a constitutional charter is to protect minority positions over majority consensus.

    Get a clue, before ya get all preachy.

  19. Scot

    As a life long resident of Indiana, I do not believe that I would continue to live in this state if this bill were to become law. I love Indiana, and my entire family is here, but if I want to marry the person I love, and have him become my family, then I can’t stay with my birth family, because my state doesn’t allow it. There are 49 other states (I know, not all of them allow gay marriage, but work with me here), I am sure that I can find another one to live in. I hear that California is nice this time of year. Hell, with all the snow we have here now, I think anywhere warm would be better.
    And Mark, in reply to your question as to what a “hoosier” is, there are many different ways to answer that. Here are the most popular theories.
    •When a visitor hailed a pioneer cabin in Indiana or knocked upon its door, the settler would respond, “Who’s yere?” And from this frequent response Indiana became the “Who’s yere” or Hoosier state. No one ever explained why this was more typical of Indiana than of Illinois or Ohio.
    •That Indiana river men were so spectacularly successful in trouncing or “hushing” their adversaries in the brawling that was then common that they became known as “hushers,” and eventually Hoosiers.
    •There was once a contractor named Hoosier employed on the Louisville and Portland Canal who preferred to hire laborers from Indiana. They were called “Hoosier’s men” and eventually all Indianans were called Hoosiers.
    •A theory attributed to Gov. Joseph Wright derived Hoosier from an Indian word for corn, “hoosa.” Indiana flatboatmen taking corn or maize to New Orleans came to be known as “hoosa men” or Hoosiers. Unfortunately for this theory, a search of Indian vocabularies by a careful student of linguistics failed to reveal any such word for corn.
    •Quite as plausible as these was the facetious explanation offered by “The Hoosier Poet,” James Whitcomb Riley. He claimed that Hoosier originated in the pugnacious habits of our early settlers. They were enthusiastic and vicious fighters who gouged, scratched and bit off noses and ears. This was so common an occurrence that a settler coming into a tavern the morning after a fight and seeing an ear on the floor would touch it with his toe and casually ask, “Whose ear?”

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