INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – Two state lawmakers were defeated in GOP primaries where gay marriage was a big issue.
It’s the issue that dominated the General Assembly and it’s the only issue that stood out during an otherwise forgettable primary election. Both sides in the battle over gay marriage are now aiming toward the fall.
Rep. Rebecca Kubacki (R-Syracuse) voted against the constitutional ban on gay marriage known as HJR 3. Her opponent, Curtis Nisly, said about Kubacki in a campaign video, “And she was a leader this year to keep Hoosiers from voting this fall on an amendment to the state constitution to protect and define marriage as one man and one woman.”
Rep. Kathy Heuer (R-Columbia City) also voted against the marriage amendment. Christopher Judy, her opponent, focused on that vote in a campaign profile saying, “HJR 3 which was a constitutional amendment for marriage should have went to the voters in November.”
Heuer also lost.
Curt Smith of Indiana Family Action campaigned against both Kubacki and Heuer and thinks gay marriage was a swing issue.
“Most politicians will tell you they died a death of a thousand cuts,” said Smith, “but I think this was the most serious cut and did the most significant harm to those two candidates.”
“Nine other people took the same exact votes as the two candidates that lost last night,” said Megan Robertson of Freedom Indiana, who points out that Republicans who voted the same way as Kubacki and Heuer faced no opposition in the primaries.
She thinks that helps supporters of gay marriage.
“I think it might even embolden others to say, well, there weren’t that many primary contests,” she said, “and maybe I can take a stance on this.”
Regardless, it’s an issue that isn’t going away.
Indiana Family Action spent $50,000 helping a handful of candidates in the May Primary. Its fall strategy is still undetermined but the goal is to make sure the General Assembly will consider the marriage amendment again next year.