Same-sex marriage opponents, proponents rally

Published: .
Updated: .

Kris Kirschner/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis, March 8 - Like preachers at the pulpit during a Sunday sermon, supporters for an amendment to ban same-sex marriage rallied Hoosiers who filled the four floors of the Statehouse.

Indiana Equality President Kathy Sarris supports same-sex marriage. "It bothers me people use the Bible to justify bigotry."

Outside about 1,000 voices hoped to carry their message of tolerance into the rotunda.

"Discrimination will not be tolerated," adds Sarris.

Eric Miller is against same-sex marriage. "Your family is at risk if we don't win."

Backers of the amendment say it's needed to protect traditional marriage.

Those opposed consider it discrimination.

Sarris says, "Their civility doesn't hide the fact they're spewing hate."

While many agree there is a need for dialogue, the passion that plays at the heart of the issue found itself on center stage Tuesday.

"Homosexuality is as sinful as lying and cheating," said one opponent.

"There's not a law against lying, is there," asked a proponent.

Pastor Daniel Webster says, "We know the tradition of marriage is right because God founded it."

Sheila O'Connor supports same-sex marriage. "I find it difficult to believe the purpose of our constitution is to support discrimination based on specific religious viewpoints."

The rally lasted only an hour. The fight could take a lifetime.

"We're going to make a statement, if not at the state level, at least locally," says Sarris.

Miller says, "Our children must continue to be taught marriage is between one man and one woman."

Indiana is a house divided. The Indiana Senate already approved legislation that could amend the state constitution and Republicans who control the House say they'll push to pass it.

Even if it passes this year, it still must be approved by the next legislature before it would be eligible for a statewide vote.