Indiana House speaker opposes state GOP platform changes

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma is the latest powerful GOP leader who doesn't want to change the state Republican Party's platform that favors "marriage between a man and a woman."

The Republican Victory Committee, a group comprised of elected officials and party activists, announced Wednesday that Bosma opposes the wording change, which would leave the platform more open to same-sex couples and was pushed by Gov. Eric Holcomb's hand-picked GOP chairman. Bosma's political operation declined to explain his position.

The announcement comes as GOP chairman Kyle Hupfer has pledged that delegates attending this weekend's Indiana Republican Party convention will take up-or-down votes on two different versions of the platform. One will include specific mention of "marriage between man and a woman" and the other will not.

Holcomb broke his silence Wednesday after almost a week of debate over the proposed changes of the platform, although he still avoided saying whether he supports the change.

"The Indiana Republican Party is big and diverse, with many different perspectives on issues we all care about," he said in a statement. "Ultimately, though, the process of adopting a platform will end the way it always ends, with the delegates who attend and participate making the final decision."

The Republican Victory Committee's list of supporters has grown since it announced its opposition to the platform changes in recent days.

That includes Bosma, an Indianapolis Republican, state Senate Majority Floor leader Mark Messmer of Jasper, U.S. Reps. Todd Rokita and Jim Banks, as well as more than two dozen state lawmakers. It also includes activists, such as prominent conservative attorney Jim Bopp and a number of leaders from socially conservative advocacy groups.

"It seems that the best course of action is to leave it alone," the group wrote on its website.

Indiana Republicans' embrace of conservative social issues has provoked national backlash and even boycott threats in the past. In 2015, then-Gov. Mike Pence signed a religious freedom law creating a possible legal defense for businesses that objected to serving gay people. Lawmakers later made changes to the law preventing it from being used to justify discriminate against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in the state.

With regards to the party's platform, Republicans have gone back and forth on the wording in recent years.

All versions of the platform have called for "strong families," but this year's draft affirms the party's support for "traditional families with a mother and father," as well as "blended families, grandparents, guardians, single parents and all loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their full potential every day."

"We have tried to be very clear that delegates are the ultimate and final decision makers on the language in the platform," Hupfer said in a statement .

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