By LYNN HAMILTON
Attorney General Steve Carter came to Terre Haute Friday afternoon to speak in favor of an amendment to the Indiana Constitution which would ban same sex marriages.
The reason Carter sees this as a "significant public policy issue" is the recent litigation in Marion County. Three same-sex couples have recently challenged Indiana's law on the matter. These are couples from out of state that had been joined legally in another state and wanted their union to be recognized here.
The Attorney General's Office won the case in May 2003, when the lawsuit was dismissed by a Marion County Circuit Court. This decision was appealed and the Indiana Court of Appeals must decide on the matter. Carter says it would not surprise him if it goes next to the Indiana Supreme Court.
Carter feels that issues which affect the public, such as this one, should be changed in the legislature, not in the courts. He claims that it is not his intention to prevent people from living together or providing for one another. Nor does he wish to change their lifestyles.
His interest is simply in "preserving traditions" and "protect traditional marriage," which he repeatedly defined as being between "one man and one woman." He went on to say that if the state decides to "break it down" and include same-sex marriages, it could open up debate to include more than two people in a union.According to Carter, same-sex couples and unmarried couples can sign contracts or name one another in their will and testament in order to care for each other. In addition, some companies provide insurance for their employees and their live-in partners.
He also added that same-sex couples have the option to adopt children or use special technology which allows one partner to become pregnant and give birth to a child. Carter does not wish to take away these rights, although he says the "traditional" family "most likely provides adequately for the next generation."