June 14, 2018
The Supreme Court may have changed the definition of marriage legally, but it can't change it in reality. Marriage is, has always been, and will always be, the union of a man and woman. And Indiana's GOP, like a lot of states', will continue to say so, no matter what five, black-robed activists tell them.
On Saturday, at the GOP state party convention, members voted overwhelmingly to stick with the language first adopted under then-Governor Mike Pence (R) and reflected in the Republican National Convention platform. Of course, the definition wouldn't have been much of an issue in the first place, had current Governor Eric Holcomb's (R) hand-picked party chairman hadn't insisted they broaden the wording to "be more inclusive of same-sex couples." Under his version, the Indiana GOP would agree: "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."
Fortunately, longtime Indiana Republicans pushed back. Daniel Elliot, the Morgan County GOP chairman, argued that the natural definition of marriage was the key to the philosophy of "Hoosier Republicans." "[Our current] language... recognizes the reality on the ground that most families are headed by married couples." Interestingly enough, this battle is nothing new for Indiana conservatives. In 2014, one year before the Obergefell ruling, state Republicans overcame two challenges to the marriage plank from moderates who said they wanted to entice more voters to join the GOP. The prevailing side called it a compromise on core values.
Then, as in now, common sense prevailed. For conservatives, who have stood their ground at every Republican National Convention, this ought to be an encouraging sign that no court can change what God's law says -- and half the country believes.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.