Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

June 10, 2014

GOP convention rejects plank amendment

FORT WAYNE - An attempt to remove language defining marriage between one man and one woman in the 2014 Indiana Republican Party Platform was unsuccessful on the convention floor Saturday morning. An amendment filed to remove the plank and replace it with language adopted in 2012 failed by a wide margin between delegates standing for and against.

Before the convention convened there was a definite air of uncertainty as delegates girded for a floor showdown over marriage and a three-way treasurer race. It was misplaced. The 2012 platform removed any reference on support for traditional marriage. The fact that it was in neither the Republican or Democratic platforms this year was constantly brought up when the Indiana General Assembly debated the issue last winter. The constitutional marriage amendment was delayed for a referendum until at least 2016 because of the language change.

Terre Haute attorney Jim Bopp, Jr., who was one of the leading voices behind HJR-3 before the General Assembly this past winter, has spearheaded reinserting the marriage plank. It was the only element of the platform not adopted by consensus, however. “Compromise language,” as Lt. Gov. Ellspermann put it, was added.

Asked how much stronger language on marriage was removed from the platform in 2012, Bopp was not absolutely sure. “You’ll have to find somebody who can answer that,” Bopp told HPI, who worked on that platform. “It [the marriage plank] disappeared after my involvement.

Speaking with Bopp on the convention floor as the proceedings got underway Saturday morning, Bopp was optimistic a floor vote would pass the compromise marriage plank. His confidence was well placed.

Hendricks County Chairman Mike O’Brien said, “Do you think there are many people who want to stand up on this issue? I don’t even know where my delegation stands on it. People are passionate on both sides and there are a lot of people in the middle who don’t want to deal with it.”

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