Wabash College and DePauw University are opposing an effort to ban same sex marriage in Indiana through a constitutional amendment. The two private institutions issued a joint-statement announcing they have joined Freedom Indiana, which is a bipartisan organization fighting the proposal.
The presidents of both schools say it will be more difficult for them to attract talented faculty and staff if the amendment is approved. They also say their institutions depend on an environment of openness and inclusion that would be compromised if the amendment is enacted.
Indiana University joined Freedom Indiana last week. Purdue President Mitch Daniels says, right now, there are no plans to weigh in on the issue.
If lawmakers approve the same-sex marriage resolution next year, it would go to voters in a referendum in November.
Below is the statement from Wabash and DePauw:
DePauw University and Wabash College announced today that both institutions have joined Freedom Indiana, the bipartisan grassroots coalition opposing Indiana’s House Joint Resolution 6 (HJR6), which would permanently alter the Indiana Constitution to define marriage and would remove existing protections under law for same-sex and unmarried couples and families.
Freedom Indiana is a statewide organization that includes parents, lawmakers, advocates for liberty, faith leaders, educators, academic institutions and some of Indiana's largest employers who believe that the Indiana Constitution should protect all Hoosiers and our state should be viewed as a welcome place for all who choose to call it home. In the 2014 legislative session, Indiana lawmakers can choose either to table or vote down the amendment or send it to voters for a statewide referendum next November. If it does not pass or is not called for action, the Indiana Constitution will be protected, and marriage will still be defined as between one man and one woman.
In making their announcement, the presidents of DePauw University and Wabash College noted that, though their respective colleges are historic rivals, the institutions stand united on this issue.
“The rivalry between Wabash and DePauw is longstanding and hard-fought,” said DePauw University President Brian W. Casey and Wabash College President Gregory D. Hess, alluding to the historic Monon Bell football game between the two institutions. “But today we stand together to join this coalition and lend our voice to support this campaign.
“Our students come from around the country and around the world, and our fundamental goal is to educate them to think critically, exercise responsible leadership, communicate effectively, and tackle complex problems. This depends on attracting talented faculty and staff, a task that is made more difficult by the passage of this amendment. We are also engaged in the enterprise of fostering ideas and innovation, a mission which inherently depends on an environment of openness and inclusion that would be compromised should this amendment be enacted.”
The two colleges join some of Indiana’s leading employers, educational institutions, and industry groups as part of the Freedom Indiana coalition. These include Cummins Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company, along with the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Indiana University, and the Human Rights Campaign, among others.