Purdue University Senate adopts resolution opposing ban on gay marriage

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Last month, Purdue officials said the university would be staying out of the fight over whether a ban against gay marriage should be put into Indiana’s constitution. Monday, other members of Purdue’s faculty and staff aimed to change that.

The Purdue University Senate adopted a resolution Monday opposing HJR-6, a proposed amendment that would ban gay marriage in Indiana. The resolution says the amendment is “contrary to the values and policies” of the university.

The first state school to make comment on the proposed amendment was Indiana University. IU announced Oct. 28 it was joining Freedom Indiana (a coalition that includes Eli Lilly & Co., Cummins Inc. and the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce).

Soon after, other schools joined in. DePauw University and Wabash College joined the opposition to the gay marriage ban on Nov. 4.

One day after IU came out against the proposed amendment, a Purdue spokeswoman said Purdue traditionally has declined to comment on social issues that are being debated in the public arena. Now, Purdue associate professor David A. Sanders is spearheading the resolution to join in on the debate.

Sanders heads up the senate’s steering committee, and said based on the university’s comprehensive diversity statement, HJR-6 would violate the school’s ideals and policies.

Most of the organizations that oppose the amendment say a ban on gay marriage would harm potential business growth in Indiana. Purdue’s new resolution, however, uses the argument that the amendment would go against Purdue’s policies on discrimination, diversity and tolerance, along with arguing the amendment would harm employee recruitment and retention.

Here’s the full resolution Sanders submitted to the senate, courtesy WIBC:

To: The University Senate

From: David A. Sanders

Subject: The Purdue University Senate Expresses Public Opposition to the Amendment to the Indiana Constitution Concerning Marriage (HJR-6)

Disposition: University Senate for Approval

WHEREAS: "Purdue University is committed to maintaining a community which recognizes and values the inherent worth and dignity of every person; fosters tolerance, sensitivity, understanding, and mutual respect among its members; and encourages each individual to strive to reach his or her own potential. In pursuit of its goal of academic excellence, the University seeks to develop and nurture diversity. The University believes that diversity among its many members strengthens the institution, stimulates creativity, promotes the exchange of ideas, and enriches campus life;"* and

WHEREAS: "Purdue University does not condone and will not tolerate discrimination against any individual on the basis of ... sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression;"* and

WHEREAS: Purdue University has extended benefits to same-sex domestic partners of University employees and their eligible children since 2003; and

WHEREAS: The amendment to Article 1 of the Indiana Constitution concerning marriage (referred to as HJR-6) is contrary to the values and policies of Purdue University and will harm employee recruitment and retention.

The Purdue University Senate opposes the Indiana State Constitutional amendment concerning marriage (HJR-6) and therefore strongly urges the Indiana General Assembly and the Governor of Indiana to oppose adoption of HJR-6.

Respectfully submitted,

David A. Sanders

* Purdue University Faculty & Staff Handbook Equal Opportunity Policies

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