Another key vote is scheduled this afternoon at the Statehouse for a proposed constitutional amendment that further defines marriage. The full House is slated to take up the divisive issue. Supporters believe marriage should be defined as between one man and one woman, while opponents say the proposal would negatively-impact employers' efforts to attract top talent. Over the weekend, Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana joined the list of organizations opposing the amendment. Also, at least one state representative who voted for the resolution in 2011, now says he opposes the measure. The issue was one of the items discussed during this weekend's INsiders segment on Inside INdiana Business Television. Randy Truitt (R-26) has told Lafayette-area media outlets he opposes the second sentence of HJR-3, which does not recognize civil unions.

There is a companion bill to define the meaning of that sentence, but Truitt says the resolution needs to be more clear before moving forward.

Truitt points out he remains a strong supporter of traditional marriage.

Last week, the House Elections and Apportionment Committee approved the bill after House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) reassigned it from the House Judiciary Committee.

The INsiders segment featured Bingham Greenebaum Doll LLP Partner Andy Gruber, Short Strategy Group President Frank Short and Radio Host and Author Peter Dunn.

Gruber believes the issue is dividing the business community and the legislature.

He says the amendment will go to referendum in November, and regardless of the outcome “no one will feel good” about the result.

Dunn calls the measure's move from one committee to the other “one of the ugliest things he's ever seen in the State of Indiana.” He believes the issue boils down to civil rights.

Short says the issue is “discriminatory” and that it doesn't make the state look good.

Sources: Inside INdiana Business, Indiana General Assembly, Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana

January 26, 2014

News Release

FORT WAYNE, Ind. – This evening an open letter was sent to the members of the Indiana House regarding the position of Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana on House Joint Resolution 3.

An Open Letter to the Indiana House of Representatives:

The Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana Board of Directors respectfully requests that you oppose House Joint Resolution 3. YLNI is opposed to HJR-3 because it is inconsistent with YLNI's mission to attract, develop and retain emerging leaders. HJR-3 sends the message to young talent that Indiana is not welcoming to all people. It also sends a message that the legislature would rather spend time and resources furthering duplicative and divisive legislation, instead of working on issues that are actually important to young leaders.

YLNI has polled its members and demographic and found that they prioritized early childhood education, promoting entrepreneurship and downtown revitalization. YLNI’s members and demographic are focused on the future of northeast Indiana and the state as a whole. YLNI’s decision to oppose HJR-3 was not about individual views of the issue of gay marriage. Instead, it was focused on how this controversial legislation impacts YLNI’s mission and the greater community and how there are more important issues for the legislature to consider.

YLNI has actively worked for nearly ten years to further its missions of attraction and retention by working to increase attachment of our residents. The passage of HJR-3 will erode the gains that have been made by our efforts. YLNI has utilized the findings of the Knight Foundation’s Soul of the Community study to improve attachment through the three areas that most relate to attachment: social offerings, openness and aesthetics. We have especially focused on openness, one of the key drivers of community attachment, because the Fort Wayne MSA is perceived as a community that is not open or welcoming to young talent, gays, lesbians, or minorities.

We have focused on attachment because it is important for the retention of talent, and because it is important for the economic well-being of the region. An analysis of several communities studied by the Knight Foundation showed a strong correlation between community attachment and the growth of GDP. From this analysis, we can easily conclude that the passage of HJR-3 will be a great setback to YLNI's work toward increased openness. And it will be a tremendous threat to GDP growth in northeast Indiana and throughout our great state for many years to come.

Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana strongly encourages each legislator to consider the message that passing HJR-3 would send to the next generation. Instead, we ask that the legislature focuses on initiatives that will move the northeast Indiana region and our state forward. YLNI requests that the legislature opposes HJR-3. Respectfully, Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana Board of Directors

Source: Young Leaders of Northeast Indiana

Story Continues Below