Bloomington mayor planning same-sex wedding ceremony

WTHR file photo

While Indiana's legislature considers a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the state, one city is planning a protest.

The mayor of Bloomington will conduct a wedding ceremony for more than a dozen gay and lesbian couples this week in opposition to the proposal.

Indiana's proposed constitutional amendment would limit the definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. It passed the General Assembly in 2012 but must pass this year as well before it would go to Indiana voters as a referendum.

Two ban bills were introduced in the Indiana House last week, but their future is unclear.

Critics say a constitutional amendment is unnecessary because same-sex marriage is already illegal under current Indiana law. Business leaders have expressed concern about attracting new companies to Indiana if such a referendum were to pass.

As of November, 2012, nine states have legalized gay marriage: (ME, MD, MA, CT, IA, VT, NH, NY, and WA) and the District of Columbia. Thirty-one states have constitutional amendments banning gay marriage. Six states have laws banning gay marriage.

On the national level, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller plans to defend the state's ban on gay marriage by supporting California in a pending Supreme Court battle. Zoeller planned to file an amicus brief with the high court when it takes up California's ban on gay marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act this year.

Bloomington ceremony

The ceremony Thursday in Bloomington coincides with the PRIDE LGBTQ Festival, a local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender festival. Mayor Mark Kruzan announced his plans in a news release.

The ceremony will take place at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington on Thursday, January 31 at 10:00 pm following the opening night of the PRIDE LGTBQ Film Festival.

Local clergy and other elected officials will express their support for the recognition of same sex relationships, including these members of the City Council of Bloomington: Andy Ruff, Chris Sturbaum, Susan Sandberg, Dorothy Granger, Timothy Mayer and Darryl Neher, and Geoff McKim of the Monroe County Council. 

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