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Letter: Elect officials who reflect forward-thinking area

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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Rick Scalf


Received: Nov. 14

Over the past weeks, the list of our state’s leading businesses and organizations publicly opposing HJR-6, a bill aimed at writing marriage discrimination into the Indiana Constitution, has been growing rapidly.

Those who have spoken out against such an unnecessarily adversarial policy already include local employers and state economic leaders, such as Cummins Inc., Indiana University, Columbus Regional Health and Eli Lilly, and they have made it clear that this policy is not only morally reprehensible, it’s also bad for business.

In announcing the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce’s opposition to HJR-6, John Thompson, chairman of the organization’s Board of Directors, observed that “the proposed marriage amendment does nothing to help show the nation that Indiana is a place that welcomes all, not just some, and we must be mindful of how actions such as this will impact our competitiveness on a national and global level.”

For a community that prides itself on its welcoming nature, the lack of such mindfulness on the part of our local elected Republican officials is particularly disappointing. Both state Rep. Milo Smith and state Sen. Greg Walker voted in favor of marriage discrimination.

Walker went further, going on record saying that the decision of who to marry should not be left up to two consenting adults. Republican Rep. Luke Messer, who has no vote in the Indiana Legislature, has nonetheless gone out of his way to announce support for the amendment, as has Republican Gov. Mike Pence.

Columbus’ own Chamber of Commerce promises that those companies considering our city as a place to do business will find “a beautiful world-class international community that is pro-business, progressive, dynamic and growing.” We will not make good on that promise until we begin to elect officials as inclusive and forward-thinking as the community they represent.

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