Indiana GOP scraps proposal to move away from Pence-era marriage equality opposition

Marriage is still only "between a man and a woman."

CREDIT Scott Olson/Getty Images
CREDIT Scott Olson/Getty Images

The Indiana Republican Party met Saturday to discuss updating their platform, which included a slight revision to the language about marriage. But by a voice vote, the 1,494 delegates voted to revert back to language that explicitly states that the party only supports marriage “between a man and a woman.”

Since 2014, under then-Gov. Mike Pence (R), the Indiana Republican Party platform has stated:

We believe that strong families, based on marriage between a man and a woman, are the foundation of society. We also recognize that some families are much more diverse and we support the blended families, grandparents, guardians and loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their full potential every day.

The proposed change was subtle. It was not a full endorsement of marriage equality, nor did it even mention same-sex couples, but it set aside the language that defined marriage as only being between a man and a woman. Instead, it just noted that families take many forms:

We support traditional families with a mother and father, blended families, grandparents, guardians, single parents and all loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their full potential every day.

But after the new language was stricken, most of the delegates reportedly applauded and cheered. Republican Victory Committee leader Daniel Elliot, who fought for the change back to the anti-gay language, insisted that preferring marriage between a man and a woman “is an important part of who we are as Hoosier Republicans. He added that the old language “recognizes the reality on the ground that most families are headed by married couples” — even though it doesn’t recognize the same-sex married couples whatsoever.

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As governor, Pence was a rabid opponent of LGBTQ rights. In 2013 and the years thereafter, he pushed for an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage. The following year, a federal judge overturned the state’s statutory ban, but Pence issued guidance instructing state agencies not to recognize marriages between same-sex couples. Then in 2015, he infamously signed a “religious freedom” bill that would have licensed discrimination against LGBTQ people.

As vice president, Pence has repeatedly lied to try to cover up his anti-LGBTQ record. Thanks to Saturday’s vote, it clearly lives on in his home state.