Indiana Republicans Drop Same-Sex Marriage Plank From Party Platform

Indiana's Republican Party this week became the second state GOP to rephrase its wording regarding same-sex marriage.

The Indianapolis Star reported that delegates to the state Republican convention adopted the first party platform in six years not to call for an amendment to the state constitution banning same-sex marriage.

Indiana has long had a law stating that marriage is between a man and a woman. The move comes at the same time that Indiana Democrats adopted a platform plank for the first time opposing a constitutional amendment on same-sex marriage.

Indiana Republican leaders said that the platform change was due only to the party's desire to have the document stick to a focus on jobs. U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, the GOP nominee for Indiana governor, has announced his opposition to same-sex marriage, as has Democratic gubernatorial nominee John Gregg, a former state House speaker.

One platform committee member told the Indianapolis Star that the change will help the party reach out to younger members:

Kathy Saris, an Indianapolis restaurant owner and lesbian who was on the GOP platform committee, said the platform change was "a big step" for her party.

She said the silence on same-sex marriage -- coupled with the inclusion of a statement saying Republicans "embrace, encourage and will work to ensure the opportunity for full participation of ALL citizens in government" -- will help the party reach out to younger Republicans.

"They view marriage as something that should be open to everybody, " Saris said.

The same-sex marriage change was not the only change in the platform. Real Clear Politics reported that a Ron Paul supporter at the convention passed a floor amendment including a platform piece to push an audit of the Federal Reserve. The Fed audit issue has been a key push by Paul and members of the Libertarian Party.

Last weekend, the Texas Republican Party amended its platform to dial back the party's stance on same-sex marriage. Texas Republicans did say that they oppose "an assault" on marriage by "activist judges" and believe that homosexuality "tears at the fabric of society."

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