The Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce is taking a stand against a proposal that would rewrite the state constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman.
Chamber president Michael Huber says the amendment is a distraction from economic and workforce development challenges. He believes if the General Assembly approves the proposal, it will have a negative impact on the city’s business climate.
“Writing, what we consider to be, discriminatory language into the Indiana Constitution would really fly into the face of a lot of our economic development efforts,” Huber says. “Specifically, our efforts to show people that Indiana is a welcoming place, because we want people to be moving here.”
Huber says the population of the city is getting younger as baby-boomers begin to retire. He says they’re beginning to see a shift toward the workforce being more accepting of same sex relationships.
Megan Robertson of the bipartisan group Freedom Indiana says the Indianapolis chamber’s stance sends a message that HJR6 – the technical name for the constitutional amendment – is bad for business.
“Do we really want to go down this road? While most of the country is moving more towards equality, do we want to be moving in this direction and kind of planting a flag that certain people aren’t welcome here in Indiana?” she asks. “I think most Hoosiers are saying that’s not what we want to be about.”
The General Assembly first approved the amendment in 2011. If lawmakers vote in favor again during the 2014 session, the proposed constitutional change will be placed on the November 2014 ballot for all Hoosiers to decide.