Hoosiers have stake in both sides of gay marriage debate


It looks like Indiana lawmakers will vote next week on the proposed state constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Both sides of the political aisle have framed the discussion, sharing poll numbers favoring both sides. But it may be voters who help decide the issue at the ballot box in November.

A married father of four, John Crane spent the day at home with his five-year-old daughter Emma Thursday. Sitting at his Morgan County home in Mooresville, he is a world away from the gay marriage debate at the Indiana Statehouse, but he believes he has a stake in that fight.

"I'm one of those, 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'," Crane said. "We've got a system that has worked for a long, long time. It isn't perfect, certainly those who support marriage between a man and a woman don't always live up to those ideals, but it doesn't mean we redefine those ideals."

He would like to see the proposed constitutional amendment question that would ban gay marriage in the state decided at the ballot box in November.

"It writes discrimination into the state constitution and that is a legacy I don't think anyone wants to be a part of," said Joshua Peters.

Peters, a soon-to-be college graduate, has a stake in that debate, as well.

"It's personal to me because I have been with my partner for three years. Actually just got engaged over Christmas and would love to get married here in Indiana, but if not, I can always go to another state and see how it shakes out in the future," he said.

Peters says he was a little surprised the hundreds of Hoosiers who packed the Statehouse for a committee hearing earlier this week were so sedate. A vote is expected next week. If it passes, he is not so sure that will continue.

"I already know there is a law on the books against same sex-marriage, so it almost seems mean-spirited to write this into the state constitution," he said.

"God set the path he did because he knows the best path for us," Crane said.

For now, that path leads to the Indiana Statehouse. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says lawmakers are taking their time deciding how to vote.