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6/4/2018 4:46:00 PM
Indiana GOP convention fight possible over marriage language in platform

Dan Carden, Times of Northwest Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS — A coalition of socially conservative Hoosier Republicans — including two congressmen, seven state senators and 20 state representatives — are organizing to challenge a portion of the proposed GOP platform Saturday at the party's biennial state convention.

Members of the Republican Victory Committee announced Monday that if party leaders this week refuse to restore a line from the 2016 Republican platform, which declares strong families "based on marriage between a man and a woman" are the foundation of society, the newly-formed group will push to amend that language into the platform during the convention.

The committee said deleting the line not only ignores the Republican preference for limiting marriage to opposite-sex couples, but also removes recognition of marriage itself as the basis for strong families. 

"Considering the past overwhelming support for marriage and our current strong families language, it seems that the best course of action is to leave it alone," the committee said.

"But, if it appears that we will have to amend the proposed platform to keep our current platform language in support of marriage, we will do it."

The proposed platform, released last week by Indiana GOP Chairman Kyle Hupfer, continues to acknowledge that "strong families are the foundation of society," even as it recognizes that many Hoosier children don't live in families headed by a male-female married couple.

"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," it declares.

Hupfer said the new platform language was crafted as part of a months-long process involving Republicans throughout the state who said they wanted the party to recognize both traditional and non-traditional families in emphasizing the importance of the family unit.

Nevetheless, Hupfer acknowledged that ultimately "the final decision-makers are the delegates at (the) convention," and said they will choose Saturday whether to adopt the recommended platform or rewrite it to their liking.

No Northwest Indiana Republicans served on the GOP panel that crafted the 2018 platform. At the same time, no Region Republicans, save Munster native U.S. Rep. Todd Rokita, R-Brownsburg, are listed as Republican Victory Committee members. 

The committee is led by Morgan County Republican Chairman Daniel Elliot and prominent GOP attorney James Bopp, Jr., and includes 17 additional county chairmen as well as Jeff Cardwell, the most recent former state GOP chairman.

The man-woman marriage provision was inserted in the platform in 2014 during the administration of Republican Gov. Mike Pence, now vice president of the United States, who continues to oppose marriage equality.

It was not part of the platform in 2012 when current Gov. Eric Holcomb was chairman of the Indiana Republican Party.

Related Stories:
• Indiana GOP reaffirm commitment to man-woman marriage at convention
• EDITORIAL: State GOP stays behind on marriage

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