South Bend Common Council passes gay marriage resolution - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend Common Council passes gay marriage resolution

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The South Bend Common Council voted 6-2 in support of resolution about gay marriage.

It's a non-binding resolution that's meant to send a message to state lawmakers.

Some members of the Council want the state legislature to reject a proposed constitutional amendment that defines marriage as only between one man and one woman.

Supporters of South Bend's resolution say a ban on gay marriage is simply bad for business.
They say the constitutional amendment would have a negative impact on recruiting the best talent to the city.

They also say it's a human rights issue.

Dozens of people came out in support of the resolution, including a young man who spoke on behalf of his family.

"Both of my parents are gay and people should love who they love. We all live in the same home and life should be fair for us, not different.  We shouldn't be rejected," said Sam Villagra-Stanton.

Rhonda Redman also spoke out at the meeting.  "The constitution of the State of Indiana is meant to protect individuals and regardless on where you stand on the issue of same sex marriage, the constitution was not meant to enshrine discrimination in it," she said.

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg spoke in support of the resolution. He says if there's a ban on gay marriage, it would be an embarrassing step backwards for the state.

There were two people who spoke in opposition to the resolution. They say they don't believe a ban on same-sex marriage would have negative economic impacts.

"There's never been a society that thrived or survived well that encouraged, approved, homosexual relationships, rather than merely tolerate them," said one man who spoke to the council.

The two council members who voted in opposition to the resolution were Dr. David Varner and former Council President Derek Dieter.

They say the fairest way to approach the situation is with a statewide vote.

They also say they don't believe a constitutional ban would have a negative economic impact.

"We've had this law on the books since 1997 by a Democratic legislature and governor. Since that time I didn't see a mass exodus," says Dieter.

The passage of the resolution put South Bend in line with a number of other Indiana cities who have passed similar resolutions. They include Indianapolis and Bloomington.
 

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