In the Indy Star article dated Saturday September 18, 2012, Congressman Mike Pence calls marriage and family an economic issue. I could not agree more. He also said " Strong families will mean a strong economy." And again, I agree wholeheartedly.
I must admit that agreeing with Congressman Pence is an entirely new experience for me. What I find even stranger is how he reconciles his longstanding views on families with his new recognition of their economic importance. Congressman Pence has spent his entire political career as a Tea Party favorite focused entirely on social wedge issues. Interestingly, in his run for Governor, he has spent virtually no time at all talking about the social issues on which he has spent his entire career. So I wonder: If Mike Pence is elected Governor, which Mike Pence will we get?
This is an important question because Indiana needs a Governor who understands the critical role the family plays in a delicate economy. If Pence is to be our Governor, would he listen to the words of Governor Mitch Daniels and call for a moratorium on social issues that distract us from the important and critical task of job creation? Or will he fall off the wagon and revert back to the real Mike Pence?
While the Congressman and I agree that strong, stable families are needed to support a strong and stable economy, we disagree about the wisdom of a Constitutional Amendment excluding some citizens from marriage. Such an amendment would have a far reaching and profoundly negative economic impact on Indiana.
Our next Governor needs to genuinely understand the critical role that ALL families play in an economy that is balanced on the edge of a knife. Our next Governor should listen—really listen-- to Indiana’s largest employers when they beg our law makers to abandon attempts to enshrine discrimination into our state constitution. Business leaders throughout the State have pointed out that a diverse population is critically important to the State’s business climate. Even our Republican Mayor, Greg Ballard has said pursuing this discriminatory policy is bad for our economy. We need to make Indiana an inviting place not just for the larger, tech savvy companies we long for, but also for the workforce they seek to attract. These workers are not just cogs in an economic engine. They are future citizens of Indiana; our neighbors and future taxpayers.
This debate has two dimensions, practical and moral.
Making Indiana a state that is inhospitable to a segment of our population is bad economics. Denying any citizen the equal protection of the law is both un-American and immoral.
Indiana’s next Governor desperately needs to understand this.
City County Council, At-Large
Thank you to Councillor Adamson for his important letter.