Unitarians flock to oppose ban on same sex marriage in Indiana Constitution

Muncie City Council unanimously votes to oppose HJR 3

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - Stately Charles Mason offered his interpretation of the Bible to oppose a ban on same sex marriage in the Indiana Constitution.

A former Episcopal minister, Mason said how God mentioned heterosexual couples nearly 300 times in the Bible and then went on to pronounce all their failings.

The few references to homosexuals were not meant to hurt any heterosexual marriage, he said.

Mason and other members of the Unitarian Universalist Church stood against the ban on same sex marriage before Muncie City Council that unanimously passed a measure doing the same.

Taking the lead of Mayor Dennis Tyler, council member Doug Marshall sponsored the resolution to take a stand against the ban.

"Muncie is a city for everyone," said Marshall.

Marshall found unanimous support for the measure, including Republican council members Brad Polk and Mark Conaster. Republican lawmakers at the Statehouse are rushing to put the ban on the ballot to appease their fundamentalist faith supports.

And council found everyone felt the same way as Unitarians, city officials and others in the audience stood when asked to take a side against the ban.

One of the few exceptions was Frank Weyl, a Tea Party member and Good Governement ally, who supported the ban, proclaiming the Mayflower Compact besides the Declaration of Independent allowed the self government and adherence to God's law.

And people are obligated to obey God's laws, Weyl said, as Republican lawmakers in Indianapolis made clear Monday the the ban on same sex will go on the Nov. 4 ballot for the people to decide.

It was clear from those who spoke that there are issues of tolerance and economics tied to the same sex marriage debate.

Jay Gillette, a Ball State professor, said the economy and its growth was built on "reputation, reputation and reputation."

 And a state that is not tolerant of same sex marriage and the same benefits and rights as heterosexual couples would not attract youth or foster more jobs.

 That was the same comment during the House hearing from Marya Rose, a Cummins executive, who said the company would be recruiting fewer people from outside the state with a ban written into the Constitution.

 The Republican led House Judiciary Committee did pause Monday and did not vote to pass he amendment onto the full House. Some members wanted more time to think about their vote as opponents to the ban overwhelmed testimony.

But Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, who champions the same sex marriage ban, said it was up to voters to decide whether they want to allow or prohibit same sex marriage in the Constitution. Turner represents part of Delaware County including Gaston.

Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, opposes the ban and also attends the Unitarian Church where fellow member Mike Sullivan read a letter to council in her behalf.

On the other side of the county, Yorktown ignored citizens who wanted to see that government join others against the ban.

 Rep. Jack Lutz, R-Anderson, who represents Yorktown, has not decided if we is going to vote to put the ban on the ballot again like he did in 2011. 

And Sen. Doug Eckerty, R-Yorktown, is among Republican senators who want voters to decide the issues. Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, Senate minority leader, also opposes the Constitutional ban.


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