Indiana Family Institute

Anti-Gay Groups Take Out Two Pro-Equality Indiana GOP State Reps

Two incumbent Republican state representatives in Indiana lost primary elections after national anti-gay groups targeted them for their votes against a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

Kathy Heuer and Rebecca Kubacki were among eleven Republicans who voted against the marriage amendment in January. The amendment will next have to be placed on the statewide ballot, which won't happen until 2016 at the earliest .

According to the National Organization for Marriage, NOM, the American Family Association of Indiana, Focus on the Family’s political arm Citizenlink, the Family Research Council and the FRC’s Indiana affiliate the Indiana Family Institute were all involved in the effort to unseat the pro-marriage lawmakers. NOM writes:

NOM, the Indiana Family Institute, the American Family Association of Indiana, Citizenlink, and Family Research Council Action had warned politicians before the marriage amendment vote in the legislature that if they did not give the people the chance to vote on marriage this year, there would be political repercussions. After the failure of the legislature to pass the question to the voters, the coalition worked together to choose its targets, particularly the ousting of Heuer and Kubacki while protecting marriage champions. 

The Indianapolis Star reports that the Indiana Family Institute’s political arm "ran $12,000 worth of radio ads in the Fort Wayne area targeting Heuer, Kubacki, and a third incumbent, Casey Cox of Fort Wayne,” who won his primary contest. The FRC-affiliated group also reportedly sent out 10,000 mailers in support of the marriage amendment’s sponsor in his successful effort to fend off a primary challenger.

In February, NOM and Citizenlink started airing radio ads against at least one Republican state lawmaker who ultimately voted for the marriage amendment, but supported a change that would remove a ban on civil unions from the measure, thus pushing back the schedule for getting the ban on the ballot. The groups accused proponents of the change of bringing “San Francisco-style marriage” to Indiana.

In a statement, FRC president Tony Perkins touted his organization’s recent poll on how Republican voters view marriage equality and claimed that “elected officials can no longer avoid the reality that the redefinition of marriage leads to the loss of our most basic freedoms.”

"The election outcome reinforces the findings of an FRC-commissioned survey released last month showing three-quarters of Republican voters want their elected officials to uphold natural marriage as the national standard. 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.

"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. Business owners, like florists, bakers and photographers, have been hauled into court, fined and even put out of business for simply refusing to participate in a same-sex wedding. But it doesn't stop there; university professors, sportscasters and even members of the military have been demoted or fired for simply believing marriage is the union of one man and one woman. Families have been impacted as parents have lost the right to determine whose values are taught to their children," concluded Perkins.

Indiana Republican Congressmen Use Taxpayer Money For FRC Training

Roll Call reports today that four Republican congressmen sent staffers to the Indiana Family Institute with funding from their congressional office accounts. “The April payments of $500 from Indiana GOP Reps. Larry Bucshon, Dan Burton and Todd Young and $1,000 from Rep. Todd Rokita to the Indiana Family Institute stand out because it is rare for Congressional offices to make direct payments to political organization,” Paul Singer writes, adding that “the Members also offer their time to the IFI for the training sessions.”

The Indiana Family Institute is the state affiliate of the Family Research Council, and led the push the defund Planned Parenthood in Indiana and for the legislature to place a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot. The group also claimed it successfully defeated an anti-bullying bill because it would “allow homosexual activists to silence free speech.”

According to its manual Ignite: An Enduring Cultural Transformation, the IFI describes its political goals of fighting the “radical liberal agenda” and training leaders “grounded in a biblical worldview”:

You see, Indiana Family Institute (IFI) is unique. Strategically, IFI works at the state level to unite a coalition of allied national and local organizations. Operationally, IFI works effectively in all three areas – education, legislative, accountability – required to truly transform the culture. Philosophically, IFI works on a wide range of culture-defining issues. Organizationally, IFI works to engage churches, pastors, and their members in their government. God has blessed IFI with the unique opportunity to be a catalyst for cultural transformation.



Cultural transformation begins with leadership. Leadership of all ages and backgrounds. Leadership grounded in a biblical worldview. Leadership armed with the information and skills to influence others. IFI’s educational programs work to identify, train, and activate these leaders across Indiana both in the home and the public square.

IFI’s political goals include: Pass the Marriage Amendment. Pass a bill to stop tax dollars from going to Planned Parenthood, Indiana’s largest abortion provider. Oppose Indiana Equality, Planned Parenthood, ACLU, etc. efforts to push their radical liberal agenda.



IFI’s legislative programs provide a strong and respected voice for values in the legislature.

In the last several years alone, IFI has actively engaged on numerous critical pieces of legislation. By God’s grace and thanks to the generous support of loyal donors, IFI was successful in many of those battles – including working to pass the Marriage Amendment through the Indiana House once and the Indiana Senate five times (though former House Speaker Pat Bauer ultimately stopped it from being placed on the ballot) and defeating multiple bills by Indiana Equality, Planned Parenthood and other radical leftist groups that would have diminished religious liberty, used the government as a tool to promote homosexuality and expanded abortion in Indiana.

Right Wing Round-Up

  • Dan Gilgoff reports that retired NFL Coach Tony Dungy, who endorsed an Indiana ballot initiative banning gay marriage in 2007 and accepted an award from the right-wing Indiana Family Institute, has been invited to join the White House's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. We have released a statement criticizing the move, as has Americans United - and Pastor Dan likewise disapproves and Sarah Posner says the White House is running low on slots to "represent a cross-section of American religion."
  • As Steve Benen says "It's had to argue with logic like that."
  • Religion Clause notes that Sen. Charles Grassley says he may subpoena records from those televangelists who have failed to cooperate with him in his investigation of their financial dealings.
  • David Neiwert catches Newt Gingrich advocating draconian measures for drug users in America.
  • AU's Rob Boston is hoping that "Obama’s future appointments annoy the Religious Right as much as [David Hamilton] has."
  • Terry Krepel reports that the Western Journalism Center is back.
  • Pam notes that Sally Kern fits right in among the legislators in Oklahoma.

Marriage Amendments Introduced in Wyoming and Indiana

Yesterday was a busy day for anti-marriage equality advocates, with constitutional amendments being introduced in two states. 

First in Indiana, where the Alliance Defense Fund, the Family Research Council, and the Indiana Family Institute joined state legislators in announcing their efforts to pass an amendment after a similar effort failed in 2007.  As FRC 's Tony Perkins explained:

Legislators in Indiana, one of the minority of states that has yet to pass a marriage protection amendment, renewed their effort today by introducing a new amendment to the state's constitution. I was on hand today in Indianapolis as lawmakers vowed to put the Hoosier state in the column with the 29 other states that have taken marriage out of the hands of activist judges. An amendment was narrowly defeated in the General Assembly in 2007. This afternoon, Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) joined me for a private pastors briefing in the Indiana Supreme Court Chambers. Mike has been a good friend and solid ally on this issue in the U.S. House, and with his help, Indiana churches stand to bring a victory for marriage to his home state.

After a House and Senate meet-and-greet with key Indiana lawmakers, I joined amendment sponsors State Reps. P. Eric Turner (R-Marion) and Dave Cheatham (D-North Vernon), Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute, our friends at the Alliance Defense Fund, and Pastor Ron Johnson Jr. for a press conference in the state Capitol on the importance of the constitutional amendment to the state.

And trying to make up for another effort that also failed two years ago, a similar group of legislators and Religious Right activists in Wyoming are gearing up to pass their own amendment, all while absurdly trying to insist that the effort is in no way motivated by any animus toward gays:

Sen. Curt Meier, R-LaGrange, one of the bill's sponsors, said Monday that the issue came to the forefront in the last election cycle, when voters in California voted to ban same-sex marriage. Meier said many Wyoming residents approached their lawmakers to find the status of the law in Wyoming.

Meier said the proposal to change Wyoming's constitution isn't motivated by any dislike of gays and lesbians.

"I really think what we're trying to do is protect the institution of marriage, and trying to make the family unit as strong as it can be for the future," he said.

A newly formed group called WyWatch Family Institute is lobbying for passage of the proposed amendment. The group's Web site describes it as a "group of Judeo-Christian families who have a goal to preserve traditional family values in the great state of Wyoming."

The group is getting advice from Focus on the Family Action, and the Alliance Defense Fund, said Becky Vandeberghe, chairwoman and lobbyist with the Wyoming group. Focus on the Family is a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based evangelical group founded by evangelist James Dobson, while the Alliance Defense Fund is an Arizona-based conservative Christian legal group.

"We're trying to protect the children, because when you have a same-sex marriage, you're denying that child either a mother or a father," Vandeberghe said. "And the family unit is very, very precious to us, and we want to make sure that every child has that."

Asked whether her group is motivated by any religious conviction that homosexuality is wrong or immoral, Vandeberghe said, "It plays a small part in it. But a large part is just wanting to protect traditional marriage."

Focus Accuses Critics of Anti-Gay Indiana Family Institute of 'Christophobia'

“It really is a form of fascism."
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Indiana Family Institute Posts Archive

Miranda Blue, Wednesday 05/07/2014, 3:12pm
Two incumbent Republican state representatives in Indiana lost primary elections after national anti-gay groups targeted them for their votes against a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Kathy Heuer and Rebecca Kubacki were among eleven Republicans who voted against the marriage amendment in January. The amendment will next have to be placed on the statewide ballot, which won't happen until 2016 at the earliest . According to the National Organization for Marriage, NOM, the American Family Association of Indiana, Focus on the Family’s political arm... MORE >
Brian Tashman, Tuesday 09/13/2011, 1:16pm
Roll Call reports today that four Republican congressmen sent staffers to the Indiana Family Institute with funding from their congressional office accounts. “The April payments of $500 from Indiana GOP Reps. Larry Bucshon, Dan Burton and Todd Young and $1,000 from Rep. Todd Rokita to the Indiana Family Institute stand out because it is rare for Congressional offices to make direct payments to political organization,” Paul Singer writes, adding that “the Members also offer their time to the IFI for the training sessions.” The Indiana Family Institute is the state... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 03/31/2009, 5:52pm
Dan Gilgoff reports that retired NFL Coach Tony Dungy, who endorsed an Indiana ballot initiative banning gay marriage in 2007 and accepted an award from the right-wing Indiana Family Institute, has been invited to join the White House's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. We have released a statement criticizing the move, as has Americans United - and Pastor Dan likewise disapproves and Sarah Posner says the White House is running low on slots to "represent a cross-section of American religion."As Steve Benen says "It's had to argue with logic like that.... MORE >
Kyle Mantyla, Tuesday 01/13/2009, 12:13pm
Yesterday was a busy day for anti-marriage equality advocates, with constitutional amendments being introduced in two states. First in Indiana, where the Alliance Defense Fund, the Family Research Council, and the Indiana Family Institute joined state legislators in announcing their efforts to pass an amendment after a similar effort failed in 2007.  As FRC 's Tony Perkins explained:Legislators in Indiana, one of the minority of states that has yet to pass a marriage protection amendment, renewed their effort today by introducing a new amendment to the state's constitution. I was on... MORE >
, Tuesday 03/13/2007, 11:59pm
“It really is a form of fascism." MORE >