GOSHEN — Mayors from the two largest cities in Elkhart County have spoken out against a state constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.
Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore and Goshen’s Allan Kauffman are part of a growing list of mayors who have publicly spoken against the legislation known as HJR-6.
Opponents of gay marriage are seeking to pass legislation in the upcoming Indiana General Assembly that would — if approved — lead to a referendum in which voters would decide whether the state constitution should be amended to ban same sex marriage. The current proposal would include civil unions.
On Tuesday, Freedom Indiana, a coalition backed by some Indiana companies, released a list of mayors who oppose the ban. The list includes representatives of some of Indiana’s larger cities, including Indianapolis mayor Greg Ballard, a Republican.
Kauffman has discussed the issue on Facebook and said Monday he opposes the ban.
“I think it sends the wrong message to the rest of the world about Indiana. I think we’re fast overtaking some of the states we don’t want to be compared to,” Kauffman said.
He said he thinks momentum against the ban is building.
As the legislative session approaches, Kauffman said he believes some Republicans are left in an awkward position since business leaders have been speaking out against it.
“From what some have told me — too many promises have been made,” Kauffman said.
Moore said he’s leery of amending the constitution.
“Our state and our city will not benefit by constitutional action,” Moore said in a prepared statement to The Elkhart Truth.
“Let us concentrate on those things that are proven to bring economic development to our state and our city,” Moore’s statement said.
Moore and Kauffman are both Democrats.
Others who have voiced opposition to the ban, according to Freedom Indiana, include Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, Angola Mayor Richard Hickman, West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan, Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, Valparaiso Mayor Jon Costas and Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski.
Five of the 12 mayors listed by Freedom Indiana are Republicans.
Nappanee mayor Larry Thompson declined to discuss the issue when contacted Wednesday.