Click here for weather warnings and watches
Follow the storms with our live blog

Pence addresses controversy over same-sex marriage debate

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

Gov. Mike Pence spoke to reporters Thursday about this week’s landmark Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Gov. Pence said he would support an effort to put a same-sex marriage ban into the state’s constitution next year.

“I believe marriage is between a man and woman and is an institution worth preserving,” said Pence.

The governor also unveiled a new state agency Thursday–the Office of Small Business and Entrepreneurship–and Pence was asked if he thought a same-sex marriage ban would have a negative effect on Indiana business.

“There’s more than 30 states where people have chosen to place a traditional definition of marriage in their state constitution and that list includes many of the fastest-growing states in the country,” said Pence.

The fight over same-sex marriage is also being waged on Facebook, with a controversy emerging over whether the governor’s office deleted comments reflecting opposing points of view on the same-sex marriage debate.

“If the comments deleted were simply in disagreement with what he said, then you’re denying the right of free speech,” said Ruth Hawkins, a same-sex marriage supporter and manager of the Metro bar on Mass Ave.

“They’re upset because their voices are being silenced,” said Indiana Equality Action President Chris Paulsen. “And that’s not something that should happen in a democracy.”

The governor said the deleted comments involved vulgarity or name-calling, and that’s why they were taken down. Fox 59 did find several comments on the page disagreeing with the governor’s position, though another person wrote in upset that they weren’t able to post on the page.

“There’s a strong diversity of opinion there, and we welcome that,” said Pence.

And as for the debate over what effect a ban might have?

“People will still come to Indianapolis for what’s core here,” said one young worker at the business where Pence made his appearance Thursday.

“I recognize that I live in a conservative state, so it’s not super surprising,” said Hawkins. “If and when I’m allowed to, I would probably get married to my partner.”