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Young Proponents of Same Sex Marriage Ban Arrive at Statehouse

Brandon Smith

Supporters of HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, are beginning  to show up in large numbers at the Statehouse as the debate over the measure continues in the Senate.  

The House passed HJR-3 two weeks ago after removing the measure’s second sentence, which would  ban civil unions. Monday, it passed a Senate committee.

That’s also when groups in favor of the  amendment made a big show of support, calling on the Senate to restore the second sentence. Those  supporters include a grassroots organization called Young Hoosiers For Marriage, a coalition ranging  from school-age Hoosiers to adults.

Shane Weist says his group represents a voice that’s been missing  from the debate.

“We feel like this is just the beginning of this throughout America," Weist says.  "I mean, now starts the test and  getting involved now – I think this is an issue that’s going to go on for years, so we feel like this is a good  time to get involved.” 

Freedom Indiana campaign manager Megan Robertson says lawmakers respond most to hearing directly from constituents, something her group’s been involved with for six months.

“That’s why we’ve been finding our supporters that want to stand against this harmful amendment  and engaging them and mobilizing them," Robertson says, "so that they can learn how to contact their legislators through  phone calls, emails, letters and individual meetings.” 

The Senate could consider reinserting the second sentence as early as Thursday. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.