Attorney General defends his gay marriage stance

July 3rd, 2014 at 3:44 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

Attorney General Greg Zoeller is defending his role in the gay marriage battle now underway in the federal courts.  He is making his feelings known in an opinion piece sent to Indiana newspapers.

Zoeller’s appeal of the ruling that struck down Indiana’s gay marriage ban and his request for a stay of that ruling are no surprise.  He previewed his actions in a March 18th news conference at the Statehouse.

“The current rule of law,” he said at the time, “supports the state’s authority to set the licensing for marriage and we’ll continue to defend that until the Supreme Court tells us differently.”

Now he’s the target of protests and petitions, “Urging the attorney general to stop wasting taxpayer money,” said gay activist Kyle Megrath last week.

And so Zoeller authored an op-ed piece in which he writes, “Not to have requested a stay would have been a dereliction of duty.”

On Indiana Week in Review it was pointed out that he could let the judge’s ruling stand.  “He is not duty bound,” said John Ketzenberger of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute. “I will object to that because he had a choice to make.”

“He chose to take the intolerant position,” said Democrat Ann DeLaney, “and he should be aware of that and he should own up to it.”

In the op-ed piece Zoeller wrote that “some view me as being on the ‘wrong side of history or even bigoted, homophobic or uncaring.”

“None of that,” he wrote, “is accurate.”

“He is duty bound to protect the laws that the legislature passed,” said Republican Mike McDaniel, “and that’s the way he sees it and that’s what he’s doing.”

But Zoeller understands.  He wrote that being an elected official means being subjected to criticism.

He also made the point that this is an issue that is “impossible to address in a way that the public would accept as being fair to all concerned.”

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