Gay marriage debate will lead to a GOP floor fight

May 20th, 2014 at 3:45 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

There will be a floor fight at the state GOP Convention in Fort Wayne next month over a platform plank in support of traditional marriage.

The addition to the platform made Monday has produced an emotional response that is coming from supporters of gay marriage, but also from party leaders who believe that there is no need to address the issue in the GOP platform.

The reaction began on Twitter.  Hendricks County GOP Chairman Mike O’Brien tweeted that he is “disappointed the party took a step backward.”

Greg Ballard aide Amy Waggoner tweeted “you are losing a generation of voters” in reference to young people.

Yet even former state treasurer Marge O’Laughlin, a party elder and a convention delegate, is baffled by the move.   “There’s so many issues that are much more important,” she said.  “I just think it’s a foolish thing to include it in the platform.”

The state GOP platform now states “We believe that strong families, based on marriage between a man and a woman, are the foundation of society.”

It says, “We also recognize that some families are much more diverse” but makes no direct reference to gay marriage.

Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann chaired the meeting Monday where the marriage plank was added at the encouragement of conservative activist Jim Bopp who said, “It’s an important issue that needs to be addressed.”

Now gay rights activist and convention delegate Megan Robertson is among those planning to challenge the wording on the convention floor. “This tells gay Hoosiers that they aren’t Republicans,” she said, “and being a gay Hoosier who’s Republican I take offense to that.”

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