Vice President and Dean Wimbush's statement on IU joining Freedom Indiana

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Unequivocally, President Michael McRobbie and Indiana University have made a clear statement that Indiana University values diversity. As we work to make Indiana University more inclusive, we need the State of Indiana to create a welcoming environment for all individuals. This is the exact reason why I think it is so important that Indiana University has joined Freedom Indiana to oppose amending the state Constitution to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

With this membership, Indiana University has made a strong statement that diversity of all kinds is celebrated, appreciated, and welcomed at IU. We must be clear that HJR6 and the proposed amendment is in direct contradiction to my office's commitment to provide broad access to IU's outstanding educational opportunities for its students and postdocs and career opportunities for faculty and staff.

Not only would this amendment have a profound impact on Indiana's economy, but it would codify intolerance in a way that directly contradicts the welcoming community that we strive to nurture at IU. Indiana University is a large employer here in Indiana. To remain competitive in attracting the best scholars to teach the most highly qualified students we must keep our state open to all types of teachers and learners.

Now that I have been at Indiana University for more than 20 years I know that I am welcomed. But I think that it is important that this welcoming culture does not stop when we step off IU's many campuses; it must continue throughout the entire state. I am encouraged that IU is taking such a strong stance on this vital issue. We must announce to the whole state, country, and world that Indiana University actively embraces all people in its important mission of education and opportunity.

It is only equitable that we preserve the legal and social rights of all people. Freedom Indiana and all of its other members are doing just that. To be equitable is to treat everyone fairly and the proposed amendment is anathema to this ideal. Indiana University joining Freedom Indiana is an important first step in ensuring equitable treatment of all people in Indiana. As Indiana University joins a cadre of progressive and prominent employers in Indiana, I find it encouraging that we are publicly stating that intolerance toward same-sex marriage is strongly opposed at Indiana University.