2 Indiana City Councils Urge Gay Marriage Ban Defeat

Associated Press

Tuesday January 14, 2014

Two more Indiana city councils are opposing efforts to write a gay marriage ban into the state constitution.

The South Bend and Muncie councils both voted Monday night to adopt resolutions against the proposed constitutional amendment being considered by state legislators. The South Bend resolution was approved on a 6-2 vote, while the Muncie resolution was adopted in a 9-0 vote.

South Bend Councilman Dave Varner, the council's only Republican, said he voted against the resolution because he believed voters should be allowed to decide the issue in a statewide referendum.

About 15 people spoke in favor of the resolution before the council voted, which didn't sway Varner, the South Bend Tribune reported.

"I don't think the people here tonight are prepared to accept the results of a statewide referendum ... because they probably know what the results are going to be," Varner said.

City councils in Indianapolis, Evansville and Bloomington and a bipartisan group of mayors from several cities have also spoken out against the proposed amendment.

The House Judiciary Committee on Monday delayed a vote on following more than three hours of testimony from supporters and opponents. If legislators approve the amendment during this year's session, it will go before voters on the November election ballot.

Muncie Councilman Doug Marshall, a Democrat, said he sponsored the resolution because "I want it to be known nationally that Muncie is a city of everyone."

Muncie resident Frank Weyl was the only one of the 11 people who spoke before the council vote who supported the proposed constitutional amendment, The Star Press reported.

"We are obligated to God to obey his laws," Weyl said. "We are obligated to obey the Lord."

Charles Mason, a retired Episcopalian minister, said "denying gay marriage is like denying women the right to vote."

"Heterosexuals have virtually destroyed the sanctity of marriage," he said.

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