Gov. Mitch Daniels said Wednesday he has been hearing from companies that fear that a measure that would put Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage into the state constitution might also prevent firms from offering benefits to gay couples. The measure was approved by lawmakers last year and could come up for a vote again next year. If approved twice, it would go before voters in 2014. The language in the constitutional ban would go further than barring marriage. It would bar “a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals,” potentially prohibiting benefits for gay couples typically associated with marriage. Daniels says he heard from companies on the issue as recently as Wednesday morning but gave little specifics. Daniels has never taken a position on the issue and declined Wednesday to say whether he supports the ban. “They wouldn’t want their ability to offer benefits and that sort of thing limited. They think it’s fair. They think it’s important at least in the case of some of their employees,” he said. Indiana businesses, including Eli Lilly and Cummins, testified against the ban in 2011, arguing it could hurt their efforts to lure talented workers to Indiana. Daniels said Wednesday he understood that argument, but also pointed out that Indiana would join other states that banned gay marriage in their constitutions.
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