By Martin Slagter Kokomo Tribune
---- — Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight believes the state should be focusing its efforts on more pressing matters than Indiana’s proposal to add a same-sex marriage ban to its constitution.
Goodnight was one of 11 Indiana mayors voicing opposition to House Joint Resolution 6, an amendment that would add language to the state’s constitution stating that only marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. It also outlaws unions for all people with language stating legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.
Goodnight referred to HJR-6 as “redundant,” noting that Indiana already has a state law in place banning same-sex marriage.
“HJR-6 is bad for Kokomo and for our state,” Goodnight said in a statement provided to Freedom Indiana, a bipartisan coalition of businesses, faith leaders, civil rights and community organizations, and individuals opposed to HJR-6. “This amendment sends the wrong message at a time when we are competing for new residents and businesses. The Legislature should be focusing on how we reduce the number of vacant foreclosed homes in our cities and on how we get Hoosiers back to work instead of this unnecessary amendment.”
The amendment would prohibit any future legislatures from passing a law that would allow same-sex couples to legally marry and prohibit any future legislatures from enacting a law that would allow any legal protections for any unmarried relationship that are similar to marriage, including civil unions and domestic partnerships.
Goodnight joined several mayors from Indiana’s largest cities including Greg Ballard from Indianapolis, Tom Henry from Fort Wayne, Mark Kruzan from Bloomington and Kevin Smith from Anderson in opposition of HJR-6 Tuesday.
The proposed amendment faces its second and final round of review in early 2014 in the General Assembly and could go to a statewide vote in the November 2014 election.
Goodnight said the state should be focused on other issues.
“There are a lot of important issues that we are facing as a state including unemployment, the infant mortality rate and [issues] with our mass transit system,” he said. “Why would we want to change the constitution on something that is already prohibited? There should be more productive uses of our time.
“I think it sends the wrong message that we’re not an accepting society statewide,” he added.