USI steers clear of same-sex marriage debate

James Vaughn

USI has no current plan to take a public position on a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, said Kindra Strupp, assistant vice president for marketing and communications.

So far, Indiana University, DePauw University and Wabash College have joined Freedom Indiana, a state-wide coalition working to defeat House Joint Resolution 6 (HJR6), an amendment that, if passed, would permanently define marriage as between a man and a woman and would remove protections under current Indiana law for same-sex couples.

Purdue President Mitch Daniels, who supported the amendment as governor, declined to comment to the media about his current stance. The university has not taken a position, but the Purdue University Senate may discuss the issue in the next few weeks.

IU’s Faculty Council unanimously voted on a resolution opposing HJR6, and endorsing the university’s decision to join Freedom Indiana at its Oct. 29 meeting.

USI Faculty Senate Vice-Chair Jason Fertig said there are currently no resolutions on the table regarding HJR6 or Freedom Indiana.

President Linda Bennett had not responded to The Shield’s request for comment as of Wednesday morning.

Public Relations Instructor Mary Beth Reese said it’s all about perception.

“If an organization says they support something, they ultimately support everything related to that,” Reese said.

She said stances often reflect what a business is about.

“Some universities are probably doing it to reflect diversity of employees and diversity of students,” Reese said.

According to The DePauw, DePauw President Brian Casey’s main concern is the potential negative impact that such an amendment can have on employing faculty and staff who do not support HJR6.

If enacted, it would alter the state constitution to prohibit any future legislatures from passing a law that would allow same-sex couples to legally marry or one that would allow any legal protections for civil unions or domestic partnerships. The bill will be discussed in the Indiana General assembly’s legislative session in January.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.