Both sides react to HJR-3 decision

Supporters and opponents packed outside the Senate chambers at the Indiana Statehouse for the gay marriage debate on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (WLFI Photo)
Supporters and opponents packed outside the Senate chambers at the Indiana Statehouse for the gay marriage debate on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (WLFI Photo)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Local people representing groups on both sides of the issue of HJR-3 spoke to News 18 about Thursday’s Senate decision to not make any amendments. A supporter still hopes the ban will one day make to the constitution. An opponent said Thursday brought new hope.

There’s always two sides to the argument. The argument that has heated up the Indiana General Assembly this session is the proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriage.

“We believe marriage is between a man and a woman and we believe that is for the betterment of children, so that’s what we’re out here to protect,” said Shane Weist.

“There’s hope for everyone to have equality and not just these people or those people,” said Ashley Smith.

Weist stands with a volunteer coalition known as “Young Hoosiers for Marriage.” The group believes marriage should be between one man and one woman.

On the other side is Smith. She is with Pride Lafayette and a board member for Indiana Equality Action. The two had very different reactions to news that HJR-3 will not be on the ballot this fall.

“Lots of joy, lots of cheer, lots of celebrations. We need to celebrate every victory,” said Smith.

“Obviously, it was disappointing. We believe this fight is long from over. This is just the beginning,” said Weist.

Even though voters won’t see the ban on same-sex marriage on the ballot this November, both groups Smith and Weist represent will continue to work to their ultimate goal.

“We hope that eventually it reaches the Indiana Constitution and goes into law and basically defines traditional marriage as between a man and a woman,” said Weist.

“We still have a lot of work in front of us, but we have to keep the momentum going and we can’t stop now,” said Smith.

HJR-3 will likely go before the full Senate again Monday for a final vote.

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