INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The Indiana Republican Party is engaged in a new and divisive debate over gay marriage.
It’s all about whether the party platform should address that controversial subject. The last GOP platform in 2012 was silent on the marriage issue, but some conservatives sought and won a statement in support of traditional marriage in the platform this time. It’s part of a compromise that was reached at a private platform committee meeting Monday.
It calls for a platform plank that recognizes traditional marriage as a foundation of society. It also recognizes that some families are more diverse.
It could lead to a public battle at the state convention in Fort Wayne next month.
The Republican Platform has been the subject of hearings conducted around the state by Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, but most of the debate over what to include in it has taken place behind the scenes.
Terre Haute attorney Jim Bopp led the effort to insert a controversial paragraph into the platform.
“Endorsing marriage between a man and a woman,” he said. “It’s the position of our governor and the vast majority of our legislators and a vast majority of Republicans so we think it should be reflected in the platform.”
That’s what was done in 2010 when the Indiana GOP Platform said, “We support the millennia-old concept of marriage as a union between a woman and a man.”
But in 2012 the subject was avoided when the platform read: “We believe that strong families are the foundation of virtue.”
Ellspermann declined comment as she rushed into the platform committee meeting and a party spokeswoman said that platform discussions are kept in the strictest confidence, but details of the debate were leaked following the Monday vote.
For the record, the Indiana Democratic Party is still working on its platform, but a draft calls not only for marriage equality but also for repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.