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Greater Fort Wayne opposes same-sex marriage amendment

Friday, December 13, 2013 - 8:16 am

Greater Fort Wayne Inc. has joined the growing list of organizations, businesses and groups opposed to a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages in Indiana.

The economic-development and business-services group announced, “after thoughtful discussion, the Greater Fort Wayne Inc. board of directors voted today to oppose House Joint Resolution 6, the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.”

“We need to be competitive on a national level and be recognized as a community that thrives on diversity, innovation, and inclusion,” said Greater Fort Wayne CEO Mark Becker in the announcement. “Such legislation hinders our ability to grow and prosper and could delay our vision of becoming a top metro center in the United States.”

Facing a short session of the General Assembly and a legislature with a deep agenda of its own, Greater Fort Wayne Inc. also has zeroed in on four state legislative priorities. The group will devote its greatest lobbying attention to economic-development incentives, creating a single county executive for Allen County, increased funding for the EARN Indiana program and support for a different classification for IPFW that recognizes its uniqueness in the state.

The EARN Indiana programs began only last summer. Students with financial need have access to paid internships, and businesses that employ them receive state matching funds in exchange for hiring these students.

In opposing the same-sex marriage amendment, Greater Fort Wayne joins the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and several large Indiana companies, including Eli Lilly and Co., Cummins Inc., IU Health and Emmis Communications. Several Indiana colleges and universities also have publicly opposed the amendment, including Indiana University, Ball State University, Wabash College, University of Evansville, Butler University, DePauw University and Hanover College.

Some institutions and groups are officially neutral on the question. That’s the position of Purdue University, Manchester University and the Indiana Chamber of Commerce.