Freedom Indiana, a bipartisan statewide coalition of Indiana businesses and groups announced yesterday their campaign to defeat amendment HJ6R, which could permanently alter the Indiana Constitution’s definition of marriage. The grassroots campaign will focus on the 2014 legislative session, where Indiana lawmakers will choose either to table or vote down the amendment or send it to voters for a statewide referendum next November. Indiana Equality Action president Chris Paulsen expressed his intent to ensure that lawmakers and voters will not use the Indiana Constitution to deny freedoms to certain individuals. He warns that the amendment runs counter to Hoosiers’ core values such as liberty and fairness, and may also create unintended legal consequences. A study published in November 2012 by students at the IU Maurer School of Law found a significant number of rights and obligations related to marriage that could be permanently denied under the proposed amendment.
Freedom Indiana is run by an independent board of directors headed by Indiana Equality Action executive director, Rick Sutton and managed by veteran political operative, Megan Robertson, who has worked for the Indiana Republican Party, Marion County Republican Party and on two GOP presidential campaigns. She managed Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard’s successful 2011 campaign. The coalition includes Indiana businesses, community, civil rights and faith leaders, advocates for fairness, former and current lawmakers and Hoosiers; initial partners include Indiana Equality Action, Eli Lilly, Cummins, Freedom to Marry, Gill Action, American Unity Fund, American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, and the Human Rights Campaign. Robertson believes the amendment directly contradicts “Hoosier Hospitality”, Indiana’s welcoming reputation that has helped the community create jobs and economic investment. She states that the Freedom Indiana campaign will bring together those who have an interest in preserving freedoms and moving forward, regardless of political affiliation.
The campaign is currently headquartered in Indianapolis with plans to establish regional headquarters in coming months. Further information is available on the Freedom Indiana facebook page, on twitter @freedom_indiana .