Franklin College To Host Same-Sex Marriage Debate

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December 31, 2013 — The StatehouseFile.com

Franklin College will host a debate Jan. 13 on the proposed state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages.

The debaters will be Jane Henegar, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, and Curt Smith, president of the Indiana Family Institute. The moderator will be former Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall Shepard. The debate will be free and open to the public.

“Franklin College is delighted to host this debate because colleges should be places where important issues are discussed and debated. This debate will help our students, our community and our state come up with an informed answer to a question that matters a great deal. What better place for that discussion to happen than a college?” said Franklin College President Jay Moseley.

Shepard said the debate will render a valuable public service. “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.

Moseley said that the participants will elevate the discussion. “Franklin College’s goal is the same as it always is – to make sure that each side gets a fair and respectful hearing so that the best ideas and arguments can triumph. Having Chief Justice Shepard as moderator and such distinguished advocates as Jane Henegar and Curt Smith will guarantee that this debate will inform rather than inflame,” Moseley said.

Smith said the debate could help with the decision-making process. “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 debate will help Hoosiers better understand the issue, Henegar said.

“The ACLU of Indiana defends the Constitution’s promise of equality for all. We are proud to be on the right side of history in the fight against governmental acts of discrimination, such as HJR-6,” Henegar said. “While a shrinking number of proponents of the constitutional ban insist on a narrow definition of marriage and what it means to be a family, a growing number of Hoosiers, business leaders and mayors across the state believe maintaining a welcoming environment in our state is crucial to our economic health and our humanity.”

The debate will take place in the Branigin Room of the Napolitan Student Center on Franklin College’s campus. It will begin at 7 p.m. and last an hour.

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