Emmis Communications joins Freedom Indiana - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Emmis Communications joins Freedom Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS -

A coalition formed to oppose Indiana's same-sex marriage ban is getting more support, although one group now says it's in favor of the amendment.

Emmis Communications announced Wednesday that it is joining Freedom Indiana to oppose HJR-6. The proposed constitutional amendment, which could go before voters in November 2014, would define marriage as between a man and a woman, effectively banning gay marriage. Opponents are concerned the amendment would remove existing protections under law for same-sex and unmarried couples, as well as send the wrong message to people and businesses about Indiana's commitment to diversity.

Emmis Communications Chairman and CEO Jeff Smulyan said he believes the proposed language of HJR-6 is overreaching and unnecessary and that the amendment is detrimental to existing and potential Indiana businesses by hindering recruitment and retention of talented employees.

"Indiana has traditionally had a friendly business environment that is the backbone of the Hoosier economy," Smulyan said. "This is two steps backward and runs counter to what businesses are demanding. Regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation, Indiana needs to send a positive, welcoming message. We will oppose this kind of exclusionary approach any time, in any form it appears."

Indy Chamber, Cummins, Eli Lilly and Indiana University are also part of Freedom Indiana.

Also Wednesday, Kosciusko County Silent NO More (KSNM) announced its support for HJR-6, also known as the Indiana Marriage Protection Act.

The group describes itself as "Tea Party" - which traditionally takes a more libertarian approach to politics. But the group's president, Monica Boyer, explained that her group is getting involved because of concerns over same-sex marriage denying people "their religious freedom and opinion."

"When we allow a group to re-define marriage, those who hold religious convictions are criminalized," Boyer said in a statement.

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