Hoosiers’ opinions divided following same-sex marriage ruling

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INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana has joined a growing list of states that have legalized same-sex marriage, and just like its predecessors, not all of its residents are celebrating.

Several lawmakers, including House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis), released statements expressing their disappointment.

“I consider it truly unfortunate that the federal court system is stepping in to make decisions in Indiana that are best left to Hoosier policymakers and ultimately to Hoosier voters. A wide bipartisan majority of Indiana lawmakers originally enacted the current statutory definition of marriage, and a wide margin of Hoosier lawmakers and citizens continue to support the statutory definition today. Our long stated concern about federal judicial intervention into a matter best left to state policymakers has been confirmed. In the long run, Hoosiers will not be better off for it.”

Eric Miller, Director of Advance America, added to that sentiment:

“The ruling by Judge Young is a sad and tragic ruling for the children and families of Indiana,” he told Fox 59. “If homosexual marriages in Indiana continue to be legal in Indiana, that opens the door to the homosexual agenda, which will lead to children beginning in elementary school being taught that homosexuality is normal and acceptable. And it’ll lead to the passage of gender identity laws which will open the door for men to have access to women’s restrooms and boys in the public schools to have access to girl’s restrooms and locker rooms. That would be devastating to the children of the state of Indiana.”

On Wednesday, dozens gathered at the North United Methodist Church on North Meridian Street to celebrate the historic ruling.

Dannie Chandler even put on special shoes for the occasion; shoes with rainbow colored stripes he’d been waiting 20 years to wear.

“I think they’re a little dated, but I don’t care,” he laughed.

He and Paul Fischer got married in San Francisco a few years ago and were overjoyed to hear their marriage would finally be recognized in their home state.

“We’re absolutely, absolutely delighted,” said Chandler. “We’re not going to move out of Indiana now, but we had considered it truly.”

Pamela and Candace Lee were among those who filed suit against the state. Pamela told Fox 59 about her fight which started decades ago when she took part in a gay rights rally at the Marion County Fairgrounds.

“There weren’t many of us at the time. It was on the news and everybody was making fun and looking down upon it and I just was so disheartened by the whole thing,” she remembered.

She said it was daunting to enter the military even before the ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy and try to keep her sexual preference a secret.

“You almost have two separate lives. You have the life that you can lead with friends and family that know you and love you and then you have the life you have to lead for your employment so you don’t get fired,” she explained. “I’ve always wanted to help try to make a difference and fortunately we got the chance to do that.  Candi and I and we’re just thankful to be a part of it.”

Opponents of Wednesday’s ruling are hoping for a stay in the court’s decision.