Gay marriage debate draws in higher education leaders

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Indiana's higher education leaders are taking different approaches to the debate over the state's gay marriage ban.

Indiana University President Michael McRobbie surprised many last week when he announced his college would formally oppose efforts to write the ban into the state constitution next year. Purdue University President Mitch Daniels has decided to keep his college out of the debate.

Daniels vowed to avoid partisan politics when he was selected as Purdue's president while still finishing his term as governor. But some say having education leaders stay silent on such hot-button issues sends the wrong message to students and faculty.

Peter Wood of the conservative National Association of Scholars says such "ideological lockstep" suggests that colleges and universities aren't places where open-minded inquiry is welcome.

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