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(Sarah Welliver/The Elkhart Truth)
IU joins fight against same-sex marriage ban amendment

Posted on Oct. 29, 2013 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on Oct. 29, 2013 at 5:42 p.m.

Recent editorials from Indiana newspapers:

Indiana University has joined the right side of the fight by opposing a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Indiana.

University officials announced Monday that IU was joining Freedom Indiana, a bipartisan campaign that counts as members many of the state’s leading businesses and organizations. Last week, the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce (which calls itself Indy Chamber) joined Freedom Indiana. It represents 3,000 member businesses and 235,000 employees in central Indiana. Original members were Eli Lilly and Company and Cummins Inc.

Thus, IU joins with other state leaders who understand that continued legislative action to essentially embed discrimination into the state Constitution will show Indiana to be a backward-looking state that isn’t welcoming to everyone.

IU President Michael McRobbie joined other real leaders in the state in explaining his and the university’s opposition to House Joint Resolution 6, the legislation supporting a constitutional amendment.

“Equality, compassion and respect for individual choice have long been the bedrock of Indiana University’s educational mission, and the lack of tolerance implicit in HJR6 runs counter to IU’s deeply held values,” he said.

He also repeated the theme sounded by major business leaders in the state. “HJR6 sends a powerfully negative message of Indiana as a place to live and work that is not welcoming to people of all backgrounds and beliefs. As a major employer in the state, IU competes with universities and companies around the world for the very best talent, and HJR6 would needlessly complicate our efforts to attract employees to our campuses around the state. ...”

The H-T has spoken out consistently against the amendment as well, including in an editorial last month calling for the Legislature to back off on the amendment. That editorial noted Indiana’s conservative Republicans are swimming against the national current, which is showing a growing majority of national support for same-sex marriage to be legal, as well as overwhelming support among all people 18 to 34 years old.

As we said last month, legislators pushing the constitutional ban look small-minded and make our state look that way, too. They’re trying to saddle future generations with their social perspective.

Congratulations to IU for recognizing the many reasons this constitutional ban would be bad for Indiana, and for being willing to speak out on the matter.

— The Herald-Times (Bloomington)

It wasn’t amazing that V. Bruce Walkup stepped down from his place on the Ivy Tech Community College Board of Trustees. The emails he sent — sexist, vulgar and inappropriate for someone helping guide Indiana’s higher education enterprise — had him cornered, once revealed through reporting by The Indianapolis Star.

Reported Sunday (Oct. 20), the email strings led to a call on Monday for an investigation by Gov. Mike Pence. And by the end of the day, Walkup had resigned and apologized.

It wasn’t even amazing that the emails revealed a questionable relationship of favors, from front-of-the-line privileges on hunting rights to a six-figure job at Ivy Tech, that apparently were traded across a system of you-scratch-my-back coziness.

Pence continues to look into how Rob Carter Jr., former head of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources in on many of the emails in question, landed his current job at Ivy Tech’s security chief. The correspondence shown in the Star’s reporting gives more than a whiff of preferential treatment when it came to landing the job. (The free pass Carter offered to Walkup to duck hunt on DNR property doesn’t make that whiff any smaller.)

What’s amazing is that guys like Walkup don’t realize that they put institutions’ reputations on the line when they start in on the crude and lewd. What’s amazing is the fact they don’t understand the clock starts ticking once the emails start flying until they’re exposed. What’s amazing is that it went on for months without Ivy Tech officials putting an end to it immediately.

What’s amazing is that someone, in this day, can make it to the board of the state’s largest college with such a backward view of what’s acceptable and what isn’t.

— Journal & Courier (Lafayette)