News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

February 1, 2014

Stepping back

Some Republicans distancing GOP party from marriage amendment

INDIANAPOLIS — If you want to irritate the chairman of the Howard County Republican Party, just call the proposed amendment to ban gay marriage “a Republican measure.”

GOP leaders may be jumping through political hoops to carry the amendment through the Legislature. But, said Craig Dunn, “I don’t see this as a Republican-driven thing but a legislative-driven thing in a Legislature that happens to be controlled by Republicans.”

It’s a distinction that would be easy to miss. Past support for the amendment from conservative Democrats has fallen away. With strong backing from GOP Gov. Mike Pence and his social conservative allies, House Joint Resolution 3 may be the defining issue of the 2014 session in the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

The measure would lock Indiana’s ban on gay marriage into the state constitution.

The debate is capturing the attention of national media — who describe it as a Republican-backed measure — at a time when some other states are headed in the opposite direction.

Dunn and some other local Republican leaders — including mayors and county party chairmen — have spent months distancing themselves from the measure. They argue that it alienates young voters who the party needs if it is to stay in power in Indiana and reclaim the White House.

“We are missing out on a tremendous growth opportunity for our party if we say to a group of people, ‘You’re not wanted, you’re not welcome,’” Dunn said.

In an opinion piece published in the Indianapolis Business Journal earlier this month, former Indiana Republican Party Chairman Murray Clark — a self-described conservative Catholic — bemoaned the fact that HJR-3 is dominating the session.

“I am afraid that the generation of my 20-something children thinks Republicans are concerned with little else,” he wrote, before asking his party to turn to something more pressing — income inequality.

Yet, the resolution consumes more oxygen in the Statehouse with each passing day.

Well-organized opponents are protesting by the hundreds and directing thousands of emails and phone calls at GOP lawmakers. Well-organized supporters are blitzing the media with messages targeting GOP lawmakers who are wavering.

Two years ago, only one House Republican voted against the resolution when it came up for a required initial vote. This session, facing a final vote that would put the measure on the ballot in November, more Republicans are voicing doubts.

“This time we’re writing in indelible ink,” said Rep. Ed Clere of New Albany, the party’s lone holdout two years ago. “And that means a permanent stain on the constitution. I think more Republicans are saying, ‘We need to slow this down and talk about it.’”

Ethan Manning, 22-year-old chairman of the Miami County Republican Party, is tired of the debate. He said he worries that it overshadows what he calls the true GOP agenda — job creation and economic development. Both are critical in his rural county, which has lost well-paying manufacturing jobs and now ranks near the bottom in per capita income.

“I don’t hear about [HJR-3] from people who aren’t in the ‘political class’,” said Manning, who helps run his family’s cattle farm. “Outside that group, I think I heard it talked about only one other time — in church, when somebody brought it up.”

Manning shies away from voicing an opinion on gay marriage. Instead, he said he supports the position of some GOP leaders in the Statehouse who want to let the amendment go to voters in November for them to decide.

Given his druthers, the resolution would just go away. As the state’s youngest county party chairman, Manning has made it his mission to attract more young people to the party.

“It doesn’t make it any easier,” he said of the amendment.  

A year ago, the state Republican Party dropped its support for the gay marriage ban from its platform, though Republicans nationally still support traditional marriage — one man, one woman — in their platform. Dunn said the decision reflected polling and a growing awareness that the amendment was polarizing among Republicans whose opinions on the issue were evolving.

Dunn is a member of the state Republican Central Committee, which helps shape the agenda for state and federal legislators. Last fall, the committee overwhelmingly refused to endorse the gay marriage ban during a private meeting, Dunn said.

Still, it was given legs by Republican legislators, who have made it a priority and some years ago staged a walkout when the House’s then-Democratic leaders refused to call the bill.

Dunn said social conservatives in the Legislature have trumped the concerns of more moderate Republicans who want to focus on fiscal issues.

For the attention the measure is getting, it doesn’t appear to rank high on the list of Hoosiers’ priorities. The annual Hoosier Survey, conducted by Ball State University, reported that Indiana residents want the 2014 legislature to focus on creating jobs, improving schools and expanding access to health care. Gay marriage didn’t make the list.

“On the Ball State campus, students are talking about HJR-3,” said Ball State professor Joe Losco, who oversees the poll. “But when I’m in grocery store in Muncie, I don’t hear anyone talking about it. People there are much more likely to tell me they’re retiring early because they can’t find a job.”

Brian Howey, longtime chronicler of Statehouse politics and a political columnist published on Sundays in the Tribune-Star, said the amendment is becoming a defining issue for the state’s Republican Party.

“The GOP is in the midst of a 12-year lock on the governorship after 16 consecutive years of Democratic rule,” Howey said. “They’re worried about losing their grip.”

Some signs suggest it is already slipping. During the 2012 election, the socially conservative Pence — a prominent backer of HJR-3 — became the first Indiana governor since 1962 not to win 50 percent of the vote, finishing with 49 percent.

That worries Dunn. In his tenure as Republican county chairman in a traditionally Democratic stronghold, he’s helped elect three GOP lawmakers to the Statehouse.

“We’re going to have to come to grips with this issue soon,” Dunn said. “As a party, we say we respect personal liberty and freedom from government intrusion. But this is big government run amok.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
  • MET072514 invenadamson step.jpg ‘Minds-on camp’

    Sylvia Ann Adamson longed for privacy, so she invented a solution to that problem at “Camp Invention.”

    July 25, 2014 5 Photos

  • Linda Tincher.jpg Riley lion’s roar goes global

    Linda L. Tincher has become the first woman from Indiana elected to serve as an international director for Lions Clubs International. She was chosen earlier this month during the clubs’ 97th international convention in Toronto, Canada.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET072514 SPPRAK glasses.jpg Kindness ‘undercover’

    Hundreds of people gathered at Bob Warn Field at Sycamore Stadium on Friday for a night of baseball, music, the “Green Man” and green shades.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Residents ‘stuff the bus’ with pencils, notebooks, backpacks

    After exiting a Wal-Mart store in Clinton, Roger E. Richardson stopped his shopping cart Friday in front of a large yellow South Vermillion School Corporation bus.

    July 25, 2014

  • Man faces 9 charges in homicide case

    A Solsberry man faces nine criminal charges related to a July 18 homicide and rape in rural Greene County.

    July 25, 2014 1 Story

  • maroon truck.jpg UPDATE: Rockville man dies after head-on collision

    A Rockville man has died from injuries he sustained this afternoon in a two-vehicle, head-on crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • red truck.jpg Head-on crash leaves Rockville man seriously injured

    A Rockville man was air-lifted to an Indianapolis hospital with serious injuries this afternoon following a two-vehicle crash on U.S. 41 north of Lyford.

    July 25, 2014 2 Photos

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 25, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday and Friday, based on jail records.

    July 25, 2014

  • Measles case confirmed in Central Indiana

    INDIANAPOLIS — State health officials have confirmed a case of measles in Central Indiana. The Indiana State Department of Health is working with local health departments and health care providers to identify additional cases of measles, and to prevent further transmission of the disease.

    July 25, 2014

  • Fast food workers prepare to escalate wage demands

    CHICAGO (AP) — Fast food workers say they’re prepared to escalate their campaign for higher wages and union representation, starting with a national convention in suburban Chicago where more than 1,000 workers will discuss the future of the effort that has spread to dozens of cities in less than two years.

    July 25, 2014

  • 4 doctors arrested after Indiana clinic raids

    CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say four doctors have been arrested on charges of improperly prescribing a drug used to treat painkiller addiction from several Indiana offices.

    July 25, 2014

  • holiday world thunderbird.jpg Holiday World plans new winged roller coaster

    SANTA CLAUS, Ind. (AP) — The Holiday World amusement park in southern Indiana is building a new $22 million roller coaster that it says will launch riders to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds, with a 14-story loop and four inversions.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indianapolis pulls future support for Amtrak line

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — City officials in Indianapolis have cast the future of an Amtrak passenger line between Indianapolis and Chicago into doubt after deciding not to provide any additional money to subsidize that line.

    July 25, 2014

  • Pence leading annual governor’s motorcycle ride

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence is leading the annual governor’s motorcycle ride from the Statehouse through southern Indiana.

    July 25, 2014

  • State asks judge to delay right-to-work ruling

    CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — The Indiana attorney general’s office has asked a judge to put on hold his order striking down the state’s right-to-work law.

    July 25, 2014

  • MET 072414 HOESS 01KOR.jpg Voices from Auschwitz: Ties that bind

    A message that has spread like wildfire across Europe can easily translate to America.

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos 1 Story

  • Minimum wage frozen after 5 years

    Thursday marked the fifth anniversary since the federal minimum wage was increased, a wage U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez contends should again be raised.

    July 24, 2014

  • MET072414 CANDLES shake.jpg ISU, CANDLES join to ‘illuminate the world’

    Indiana State University and CANDLES Holocaust Museum are joining forces to educate current and future generations about the Holocaust, genocide and related issues.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos 1 Story

  • MET072414 JA hadley.jpg 50 years later, still business as usual

    Junior Achievement of the Wabash Valley marked its 50th anniversary hosting a luau Thursday at the Ohio Building in Terre Haute.

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • Two semis collide; one driver injured

    A semi-trailer driver from North Carolina was airlifted to Methodist Hospital Thursday after his vehicle collided with another tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in far western Vigo County.

    July 24, 2014

  • Valley talent returns for show tonight

    Local musical collective Lunes Domingo is scheduled to be back at The Verve tonight to perform the last installment of its 2014 series.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police find 2 meth labs in 1 house

    The Clay County Sheriff’s Department on Thursday arrested a Staunton man and a Terre Haute woman on felony charges of manufacturing and possessing methamphetamine.

    July 24, 2014

  • Police say man broke into prison building

    A man living at a Carlisle motel has been arrested for trespassing and criminal mischief after he allegedly kicked in a prison building door.

    July 24, 2014

  • Driver airlifted to Methodist after I-70 crash

    A semi-trailer driver from North Carolina was airlifted to Methodist Hospital today after his vehicle collided with another tractor-trailer on Interstate 70 in far western Vigo County.

    July 24, 2014

  • Lunes Domingo, Bear Foote Jackson at The Verve July 25

    Local musical collective Lunes Domingo will be back at The Verve on Friday, July 25, to perform the last installment of their 2014 series. Cost is $3.

    July 24, 2014

  • West T Water Works issues boil order

    The West Terre Haute Water Works announced this morning that a boil order is in effect until further notice for the community of West Terre Haute and Sugar Creek Township.

    July 24, 2014

  • Grease fire closes Terre Haute restaurant for short time

    A grease fire closed the Golden Corral for about three hours on Wednesday.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: July 24, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Thursday and Friday, based on jail records.

    July 24, 2014

  • Bloomington helping with beer brewery’s project

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) — The city of Bloomington is helping a beer brewery with an expansion of its downtown restaurant and bar.

    July 24, 2014

  • Family: Teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks

    PLAINFIELD, Ind. (AP) — Haris Suleman knew that flying around the world carried risks. But like adventurers before him, the 17-year-old pilot from Indiana also believed dreams aren’t achieved without taking chances.

    July 24, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return
NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity