Executives from Indiana businesses, including the Indianapolis-based drug company Eli Lilly and Co. and Indiana University, warned the amendment would hurt recruitment. “Top talent will go elsewhere,” Stephen Fry, senior vice president of human resources and diversity at Eli Lilly, told a state House judiciary committee. “Indiana doesn’t have mountains and oceans, so all it has is a friendly and welcoming environment. This hurts not just recruitment but retention – some of our best employees are edgy about staying.”
Others disputed these arguments. “The economic arguments against it are a bogeyman,” said Micah Clark of the American Family Association of Indiana. “North Carolina has a similar law and it is thriving.”
The watchers in the gallery could’t help but laugh at one bigot’s claims.
Jim Bopp, an anti-LGBT attorney who was forced out as Indiana’s representative to the Republican National Committee in 2012, told the committee that he was perplexed as to why opponents would be against a constitutional ban if same sex marriage was already illegal in Indiana. “It can only be because [the existing ban is] vulnerable,” he insisted. “They want the option of getting what they actually want, which is to change the definition marriage. And the very vulnerability of a statute as opposed to a constitutional amendment affords them a greater opportunity to get that job done.” “Even more troubling though was an argument made by one who said that the simple debate on the marriage amendment will do the damage,” Bopp added. “Well, what does that tell you? That there are some people that are so intolerant of other people’s views that a simple debate…” With that, the chairman was forced to call the committee to order as the gallery burst into laughter.
In the end, the House Judiciary Committee delayed its planned vote on the bill.
Edge Boston reports:
Chairman Greg Steuerwald (STUR’-wawld) delayed the vote Monday following more than three hours of testimony from supporters and opponents. He said afterward that witnesses for both sides made compelling arguments. The proposed amendment would ban gay marriage and anything “similar” to gay marriage. Supporters and opponents disagree on whether the proposal would also bar benefits for same-sex couples.
In pretty much every case in the past where a law or amendment has banned anything similar to marriage, opponents have claimed it would not affect benefits for LGBT citizens, and then have come back after the law was passed to attack those same benefits on the grounds that they were too similar to marriage.