Leah Jackman-Wheitner and her family are active members in their local community. “My husband, Jeff, and I got married 20 years ago in Ohio. When we moved to Columbus, we joined a church that we still attend!” Leah said. “Our oldest daughter, Lexi, is a member of the National Honor Society, and her younger sister, Kati, is also an honor student and loves spending her time with her friends and listening to music. Indiana has been such a great place to raise our family, and we are happy we decided to settle down in Columbus!”
Leah said she and Jeff were drawn to Indiana because they resonated with the famous Hoosier Hospitality values. “We love living in the heartland. People here care about their neighbors, dedicate themselves to their communities, and seek to do right,” Leah said. “Our family truly wants to be kind and demonstrate hospitality. We love being a part of such a tight knit community like we have here in Columbus.”
Aside from being an active community member, there’s nothing more important to Leah than being the best mom she can possibly be to Lexi and Kati. “As a mother, you want to protect your child in any way you can. You make sure they learn to cross the street safely. You teach them how to stay safe in all sorts of situations,” Leah said. “When your children are born, you imagine their future. You hope that they grow up happy, healthy, and fall in love. What do you do when your home state is trying to take those protections away from your children? It is scary.”
The bill that would take these protections away from her family is HJR-3, a proposed amendment to permanently alter the Indiana Constitution to remove any protections from same-sex couples and their families. Since her daughter Lexi identifies as bisexual, HJR-3 would eliminate any protections that Lexi and her future family could share.
“HJR-3 is about fundamental safety and security – emotional and legal safety and security. If HJR-3 passes, then my child’s safety is at risk,” Leah said. “HJR-3 means that my daughter will move out of state when she graduates so that she can live in a community that is not discriminatory. She deserves her home-state, the only place she’s ever lived, to support her and protect her rights. While I support her in living in a place that recognizes the validity of her relationships, it’s really sad that she wouldn’t have that here.”
Aside from wanting to protect her daughter Lexi from discrimination in their home state, Leah also worries about the other negative impacts HJR-3 would have on Hoosiers.
“HJR-3 seeks to roll back progress and take away our citizens’ rights, that affects our economic base and it positions us poorly in the national perception. If you care about protecting your home’s value, then you should be focused on protecting the economic base of your state,” Leah said. “Taking away rights is not a way to protect or improve Indiana’s economic base. HJR-3 is a message of intolerance. If Indiana passes this amendment, we are on the wrong side of history.”
Join Leah and other Hoosier moms in taking a stand against HJR-3. CLICK HERE to see how you can get involved.