Religious coalition says HJR-6 is mistake for Indiana

300 faith leaders gathered to oppose HJR-6

INDIANAPOLIS - Opponents of a state constitutional amendment that would define marriage and remove existing protections for same-sex couples under law rallied at the statehouse Monday afternoon.

The amendment is known as HJR-6. More than 300 faith leaders from the Interfaith Coalition on Non-Discrimination and Freedom Indiana gathered at the Statehouse.

The group represented many denominations, but their message was the same. They told supporters that HJR-6 is a mistake for Indiana.

"It's a mistake for faith. We can only travel on that freedom road if we stand for justice, for inclusion, for dignity for all," Christian Theological Seminary President Matthew Boulton said.

Some say the most compelling aspect of the campaign is the testimony of people affected.

"As a pastor who happens to be gay, it would hurt my family, my partner and my 9-year-old child. It would hurt a lot of families. As a person of faith, we have to oppose it," Rev. Linda McCrae said.

The Indiana Family Institute supports the idea to permanently alter the constitution to define marriage as the union between a man and a woman.

"If we don't address this issue in 2014, the courts and political activists are gonna define marriage in Indiana. We think the people should define that. Once Minnesota decided not to adopt an amendment, they quickly embraced same-sex marriage. We think it is important to elevate marriage into the state constitution and let the people decide that question in November of 2014," Indiana Family Institute President Curt Smith said.
 
Passions are high on both sides of the topic. There will likely be many more speeches and rallies before the issue is decided.

Opponents of HJR-6 will present 2,000 constituent letters to lawmakers on Tuesday. They have also made 25,000 phone calls to Hoosiers asking them to call their legislators to oppose HJR-6.

Follow Derrik Thomas on Twitter: @derrikthomas

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