INDIANAPOLIS, IN, May 8, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Pro-family and religious groups showed their clout in Indiana politics Tuesday, ousting two Republicans who opposed a marriage amendment earlier this year and successfully defending several vulnerable allies.
Two Republican members of the state House, Kathy Heuer and Rebecca Kubacki, lost their races after opposing a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex “marriage” in the state. In addition to ousting Heuer and Kubacki in favor of Christopher Judy and Curt Nisly, respectively, family groups made sure Rep. Eric Turner won against a challenger despite an ethics controversy.
Indiana Rep. Eric Turner
Turner was given special attention by pro-family organizations because he was the sponsor of the constitutional amendment. While he was found innocent of the charges brought against him, it made his re-election campaign more difficult.
The investigation focused on Turner's public and behind-the-scenes opposition to legislation that would have temporarily stopped construction of nursing home facilities. Turner -- the second-ranking Republican in the state House -- and his family have investments in nursing homes.
Turner has defended his actions, noting that he did not vote on the legislation per ethics regulations, and only provided his "expertise" on the subject.
According to Indiana Family Action Executive Director Ryan McCann, several organizations -- including the National Organization for Marriage, American Family Association of Indiana, and Family Research Council Action -- worked with his group "to inform voters of the voting records of their elected officials, particularly about marriage."
"We paid for mail and/or radio in nine different state legislative races here in Indiana," said McCann.
McCann told LifeSiteNews.com that Kubacki and Heuer "had voted to support the Indiana Marriage Amendment in 2011 only to vote against it in 2014 when 'Freedom Indiana' and other same-sex marriage advocates showed up at the Indiana General Assembly with millions in funding. Rep. Kubacki and Heuer, along with several other their colleagues, robbed Hoosiers of their right to decide the future of marriage in Indiana at the ballot box in November."
"Subsequently a federal judge just recently recognized a same-sex marriage here in Indiana for the first time."
McCann says the switch-vote by the two ousted Republicans could cost the state its chance to defend marriage and religious liberty. Constitutional amendments in Indiana must be approved by both the Senate and House, and then wait until after the next general election to be approved again.
"The leaders of Indiana's House and Senate have given commitments that they will take up the newly worded constitutional amendment on marriage and we will hold them to that. However, at best a constitutional amendment could be voted in November of 2016 here in Indiana," he explained. "Our state statute is currently being challenged in court and we likely don't have two years to waste."
"The marriage issue is much more complex than many realize," McCann expounded. "Not only are activists on the Left attempting to redefine marriage, they are also attempting to squelch the free speech and religious liberty rights of those who disagree with them. Small business owners, like bakers, florists, bed and breakfast owners and many others need protections immediately. If a judge strikes down our marriage law we will likely see more small business and others targeted if they dare voice support for traditional marriage or even publicly hold a moral view of human sexuality."
McCann says his organization "hope[s] the Indiana General Assembly will give them those protections next Session." He also said that despite what many political and media elites say about the future of marriage in America, "if more people of courage and conviction would stand up and run for office nationally as some brave candidates for the state legislature here in Indiana have done, I believe the national implications could be huge. Just a handful of men and women of courage setting brushfires of freedom in strategic states around the country could expose just how wrong those elites are."
In a press release. Family Research Council Action President Tony Perkins said, "Redefining natural marriage is about far more than the marriage altar; it is about fundamentally altering society. In the wake of same-sex marriage, religious freedom and parental rights have been lost." Perkins pointed to how parents, military service members, and professors, among others, have been punished for supporting traditional marriage.
According to Perkins, "Voters in Indiana and across the country are now realizing that much more than marriage is on the line. Elected officials can no longer avoid the reality that the redefinition of marriage leads to the loss of our most basic freedoms."
"By removing State Reps. Kathy Heuer and Rebecca Kubacki, voters made it very clear that leaving the definition of marriage to activist judges is unacceptable,” he said.
While supporters of same-sex "marriage" have seen victories at the judicial level, they have often been punished at the voting booth. Support for same-sex "marriage" was key in the defeat of New York State Representative David Weprin in 2011 in his bid for U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner's seat. Weprin was the first Democrat to lose the seat in 88 years.