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Shepard to moderate same-sex marriage debate

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Retired Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard will moderate a debate at Franklin College Jan. 13 on the issue of same-sex marriage.

Jane Henegar, executive director of the ACLU of Indiana, will argue against the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex-marriage in Indiana. Curt Smith, president of Indiana Family Institute, will advocate for the amendment.

 “The debate at Franklin College about the proposed same-sex marriage amendment will give the people of Indiana a better understanding of this contentious issue. Both sides deserve a fair hearing and, as moderator, I want to make sure that they receive one,” Shepard said in a news release from the college.
Organizers say the involvement of Shepard, Henegar and Smith will guarantee the debate will inform rather than inflame.

“Given that the definition of marriage has become controversial, it is important the Legislature allow Hoosiers to decide this question for ourselves. Making such a choice wisely requires an informed citizenry, which I trust this debate will foster,” Smith said.

The hour-long debate will be held at 7 p.m. in the Branigin Room of the Napolitan Student Center on campus. It is free and open to the public. Those who cannot attend may listen to a live broadcast on WFCI 89.5 FM.

The Indiana General Assembly is expected to consider the amendment outlined in House Joint Resolution 6 this session. State legislators have been grappling privately with the proposed amendment banning marriage between two people of the same gender. Their concern is the second sentence of the amendment which some view as too broad and possibly removing legal protections from unmarried heterosexual couples.  

There are questions as to whether the amendment can be approved and put before voters in November if the language is altered in any way during the 2014 session.

 

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