Next marriage battle will be fought at the polls

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The gay marriage battle is over in the General Assembly but it will continue across Indiana. It now moves to the campaign trail.

Because the marriage amendment could come back in the next year or two, the people on both sides of this debate will now try to elect more people who see things their way.

At the offices of Freedom Indiana in the Stutz Building people are still working. The organization formed to oppose the marriage amendment had more than 40 people on staff at one point with more than 20 lobbyists pursuing its cause.

It prevented a referendum this year, but that won’t be the end of the marriage fight.

“I think our opponents are extremely dedicated to their cause,” says Rick Sutton of Freedom Indiana. “I would be surprised if it went away entirely.”

Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute can confirm that.

“We’re not gonna give up,” he said.

And the author of the marriage amendment is already aiming toward next year.

“It would be my anticipation that we’d probably bring it back in ’15 and pass it,” said Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero). “I think it will pass overwhelmingly like it did this year.”

So at Freedom Indiana they are considering the creation of a political action committee to back candidates who support marriage equality.

“We want to make sure that voters understand where representatives and senators were on this issue,” said Sutton, “and where candidates might be on this issue.”

Every seat in the Indiana House is up for re-election this year and so are half of the seats in the state Senate. That’s why Curt Smith is planning to do some campaign spending, too.

“We haven’t done a lot over the years but we’ve done some,” said Smith, “and we will be active in some primaries and some general races this year.”

Because for both sides, it’s easier to control the outcome in the Statehouse if your candidates are the ones who become officeholders.

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