Gay Rights activists meet to discuss plan to fight gay marriage - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Gay Rights activists meet to discuss plan to fight gay marriage ban

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It's already illegal in Indiana, but a proposed Constitutional Amendment would further put a stop to gay marriage.

And one group is fighting back.

The group "Freedom Indiana" has already made a trip to the State Capitol to call on legislators to say no to the amendment.

Now, gay-rights activists are amping up their fight in South Bend.

Mayor Buttigieg came out to a meeting at Chicory Cafe Wednesday evening for what was kind of a kickoff of sorts to a local effort to stop the amendment.

As far as their strategy, organizers are keeping that close to their chest.

They didn't want us to record speeches that were made at the meeting, but FOX28 did speak with gay rights supporters about why they're fighting the proposed ban.

"At the moment, it's still not legal. So why do we need a ban on top of that. It just seems mean-spirited," says gay rights supporter, Joel Barrett.

Gay rights supporter, Michael Lane says, "This legislation would send a message to a group of people, 'They're not welcome.'"

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg is rallying around the cause with a coalition of Mayors across Indiana.

He says a ban would be a bad move for the state and the city.

"Right now we are competing for talent, and part of how you do that, part of how you build a talent economy is by making sure you're welcoming to everybody. To ever different kind of person. No matter their background, no matter their race, color, creed. No matter their sexual orientation," says Buttigieg.

Patrick Mangan with Citizens for Community Values has been campaigning for a ban for years. He says what's really best for the state is to make sure marriage remains between one man and one woman.

"One thing that's not good for Indiana is to put our fist in God's face and say, 'No, you really don't know what you created. we'll change it for you,'" says Mangan.

Mangan says even with Freedom Indiana's efforts, he still believes the legislature will pass the marriage-ban amendment and send it to voters next fall.

"The Values Coalition is solid and strong. But more than that, Hoosier families are solid on this," says Mangan.

Freedom Indiana volunteers say they'll work hard to get their message out. A call center at the GLBT Resource Center is already training callers.

"We'll be volunteering for Freedom Indiana to man the call centers and do what we can to help them out," says Lane.

A lot has to happen before an amendment is added to the state Constitution.

The constitutional amendment has already jumped through the first hoop. It passed the House and Senate of the previous General Assembly in 2011.

Now, it has to pass this General Assembly by a simple majority. If that happens, it will be on the ballot for the people to vote on in November 2014.

If the voters pass it, then the Constitution will be amended to say "Marriage should be between one man and one woman."

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