CEO Jeff Smulyan sent an internal memo to employees of Emmis Communications Wednesday morning announcing the media company has signed on as a supporter of Freedom Indiana.
That organization has mounted a targeted initiative among a "bipartisan grassroots coalition opposing Indiana’s House Joint Resolution 6 (HJR-6)."
HJR-6 is a measure that, if passed by Indiana's General Assembly, would place a specific definition on marriage while removing previous provisions in state law protecting same-sex and unmarried couples. In a press release made available today, Smulyan notes his belief that the language of HJR-6 is "overreaching and unnecessary," also "detrimental" to existing and future business in Indiana by preventing the great benefit of recruiting and retaining high-quality employees who would balk at living and working in a state where such a law were in place.
“Indiana has traditionally had a friendly business environment that is the backbone of the Hoosier economy,” says Smulyan. “This is two steps backward and runs counter to what businesses are demanding. Regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation, Indiana needs to send a positive, welcoming message. We will oppose this kind of exclusionary approach any time, in any form it appears.”
Indiana's marriage amendment, previously introduced in 2011, will appear early in the 2014 legislative session, where it will be tabled, voted down, or sent to Indiana's constituants to be voted on in a referendum next November.
Emmis joins other Hoosier organizations, businesses, and higher-education institutions showing their support for Indiana Freedom that include the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Indiana University, Indiana State University, and DePauw University.
Full disclosure: Emmis Communications publishes Indianapolis Monthly and owns 21 radio stations across the country including Indianapolis' HANK-FM 97.1, ESPN 1070 The Fan, WIBC-FM 93.1, B105.7, and more Indiana stations.