Butler Joins Freedom Indiana

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Another institution is joining the growing coalition of schools and businesses opposing a proposed amendment that further addresses the definition of marriage. Butler University President James Danko says the proposal contradicts the school's "culture of acceptance" and would put Indiana's economic future at risk. November 21, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Butler University announced today that it is joining fellow universities and leading Hoosier businesses in opposition of House Joint Resolution 6 (HJR-6) and a proposed amendment to the Indiana State Constitution strictly defining marriage as between a man and a woman.

"Butler University is an institution where all people are welcome and valued, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, religion, or ethnicity; a culture of acceptance and inclusivity that is as old as the University itself," said Butler President James M. Danko.

Butler was the first school in Indiana and third in the United States to enroll women as students, was among the first colleges in the nation to enroll African Americans, and was the second U.S. school to name a female professor to its faculty.

Danko said that HJR-6 would make it more difficult for Butler—and all Indiana employers—to compete for diverse and talented faculty, staff, and students. The proposed amendment would threaten to reverse many of the recent gains made by Indianapolis and the state, and would place Indiana’s economic future at risk.

"Continuing to attract diverse and talented students, faculty, and staff to Butler is of the utmost importance as we seek to provide an education that prepares our students to succeed in a multicultural workforce and global society," Danko said.

Freedom Indiana, a bipartisan organization formed to oppose HJR-6, welcomed Butler's support.

"We are grateful to Butler for standing with Freedom Indiana and our efforts to protect all Hoosiers," said Megan Robertson, Freedom Indiana’s campaign manager. "Our Constitution is not the place to have this conversation, and we simply cannot afford to send the message that our state is not a welcoming place."

Butler's statement came with strong support from the University’s Board of Trustees and the Faculty Senate, which unanimously approved a resolution opposing HJR-6. Many other stakeholders, including students, staff, and alumni, have also voiced their opposition to the measure. A formal resolution opposing the measure has been proposed by the Student Government Association and will be considered at their next meeting on December 4.

About Butler University

Butler is a nationally recognized comprehensive university encompassing six colleges: Arts, Business, Communication, Education, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Together, these colleges offer more than 60 undergraduate areas of study, eight pre-professional programs, and 19 graduate programs. Around 4,700 students are enrolled at Butler, representing 45 states and 49 countries. Ninety-five percent of Butler students will have participated in some form of internship, student teaching, clinical rotation, research, or service learning by the time they graduate. This community-centered immersion is coupled with classroom learning that nurtures critical thinking, effective communication, cooperative teamwork, and ethical decision making to prepare students for both professional success and to have lasting impact in their communities. Butler’s overall placement rate for the class of 2012 was 94 percent, including 19 percent who went on to graduate or professional school.

About Freedom Indiana

Freedom Indiana is a bipartisan statewide organization that champions liberty for all Hoosiers. It was formed in August 2013 to oppose an amendment to the Indiana Constitution that would permanently alter the state’s definition of marriage and potentially affect hundreds of rights related to marriage under current Indiana law. Headquartered in Indianapolis, Freedom Indiana is run by an independent board of directors headed by Indiana Equality Action Executive Director Rick Sutton.

Source: Butler University