First time candidate supports marriage coalition

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Thad Gerardot is running as an openly gay democratic candidate for the 81st District. He’ll be running against incumbent Martin Carbaugh. Gerardot is in support of a new marriage coalition formed in Indianapolis supporting gay marriage in Indiana.

The new coalition is called “Hoosiers Unite for Marriage”.  One of their first moves will be to ask Attorney General Greg Zoeller to stop backing the state’s gay marriage ban.

“A lot of people I’ve talked to here in the community, every year I hear I don’t feel represented at the statehouse,” said Gerardot.

He’s worked with the LGBT community for years, he said. He’s worked with groups such as Freedom Indiana, which successfully kept a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage off the ballot this fall. He said this issue needs to be discussed because people need to realize the diverse community that makes up Indiana.

“You don’t want that big battle, you don’t want it on the ballot, because you get to know those people and they’re your neighbors,” he said.

Gerardot said he’s spoken with constitutes who are born and raised here, but feel separated because of their stance on this issue. This is just one of the many reasons he said he’s running for office.

“Inclusion and diversity are important to this state,” said Gerardot. “A lot of people love Indiana as their home, they don’t necessarily feel welcomed here because some of the policies and a divisive rhetoric that I would like to see go away.”

Republicans are also being strong in their stance. Though it hasn’t yet gone to a public vote, lawmakers still advanced a ban on gay marriage. Plus, republican delegates this past weekend at the convention here in Fort Wayne decided to define marriage as being between a man and a woman in their platform.

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