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Youth gather to support state’s same-sex marriage ban

– A new group supporting a move to ban gay marriage in Indiana’s Constitution descended on the Indiana Statehouse on Tuesday to show that not all youths oppose the measure.

Young Hoosiers for Marriage was loosely created about a month ago but decided to be more vocal when the Indiana House removed the controversial second sentence of the proposed constitutional amendment.

The first sentence defines marriage as between one man and one woman; the second would prohibit civil unions in the future, as well as other rights substantially similar to marriage.

House Joint Resolution 3 is now in the Senate, and that chamber will decide whether to restore the original provision possibly Thursday.

“It’s not just a union, it’s what’s best for the state,” said Chris Knight of Indianapolis. “We are not against anyone, but we are for our kids.”

Fellow member Julie Kitchel, a junior at Purdue University, said the state should seek to promote marriage, not undermine it.

“A child deserves a mom and a dad wherever possible,” she said.

Another member, Sarah Hill of Lafayette, quoted statistics that children do better in homes with a father.

“The younger generation of Hoosiers never want the government to tell a child that she didn’t deserve a dad,” she said. “Intentionally creating motherless or fatherless homes is not a goal the government should pursue.”

Jennifer Wagner, spokeswoman for the bipartisan Freedom Indiana fighting the constitutional ban, said her group has been working on the issue for months with supporters attending every hearing and talking to legislators.

“Where have they been the last six months?” she asked. “Some of the national groups … have realized their voice has been lacking.”

nkelly@jg.net

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