Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

January 26, 2014

Settling gay marriage debate?

(Continued)

If it passes, and Indiana becomes the 30th state to ban same-sex marriage in its constitution, opponents of the measure are unlikely to sit idly by as more and more states around Indiana allow gay marriage.

There are only four states which ban gay marriage by law, but don’t have a ban in their state constitution. Of those four — Indiana, Wyoming, Pennsylvania and West Virginia — Indiana could be the last one with a plurality willing to enact a constitutional ban. Legislation aimed at a constitutional ban has been repeatedly voted down in each of those other states in recent years, and Indiana is effectively the last red state without a constitutional ban.

So if Indiana’s citizens enact a constitutional ban, Indiana will likely be the last state to do so.

Dunn, who opposes the constitutional ban on libertarian grounds, says couples should be free to enter into binding contracts, protected by law, rather than hindered by it.

The second sentence of HJR3, which states “that a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized,” is a sticking point for many otherwise conservative Republicans, Dunn said.

“There are sizeable numbers of Republicans that don’t really believe that this is the thing to do. Not that I’m saying they think marriage is anything but between one man and one woman,” Dunn said.

Dunn also doesn’t believe the gay marriage debate in Indiana will drag on for decades.

“If it’s defeated, it’s done forever. If it passes with the second sentence intact, I believe it will be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Find Scott Smith on Twitter@JasonSSmith1. His email is scott.smith@kokomotribune.com.

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