Kalscheur also expressed opposition for domestic partnership benefits for city employees. Domestic partnership benefits allow unmarried couples in long-term relationship access to employee benefits such as health care. While this is generally seen as an LGBT-specific issue since they don't have the option of marrying their partner, an increasing number of straight couples are choosing cohabitation for extended periods before or in lieu of marriage.
While this might come as no surprise to those familiar with anti-gay ideologies coming from the GOP at the national and state stage, LGBT equality issues make for strange bedfellows in Indianapolis. The opposition and support for the HRO in the December 2005 vote was bi-partisan. Eric Miller and his organization Advance America (which generally supports Republicans), as well as several preachers from black churches in Marion County (which typically support Democrats) came out in loud opposition to the HRO. LGBT equality groups from both political parties, as well as non-partisan LGBT equality groups, advocated for the HROs passage in 2005.
But in the six years since the HRO passed, things seem to have changed. No attempts from any councilors have been introduced to repeal the HRO, Mayor Greg Ballard (R) enforced the HRO in the "Just Cookies" controversy, and it's generally seen as a non-issue even among candidates who are themselves gay and lesbian, likely because it's perceived as a settled issue. And throughout the nation, attitudes are quickly changing among the populous on issues such as same-sex marriage, with the majority of Americans supporting it.
While anti-gay views might be able to be expressed in "safe" Republican districts such as Ginny Cain has in district 5, Republicans who want to succeed in Marion County (either at-large or in most of the districts) have to recognize that holding and promoting anti-gay views will only hurt their chances in most of the county, which has been trending Democrat for the past several years. Alienating those who believe in LGBT equality shuts off a sizable chunk of citizens who would otherwise be open to hearing your views on municipal governance.
UPDATE: Indianapolis Star reporter Jon Murray writes that if the Democrats regain control of the council, one of the priorities will be to introduce legislation that will allow domestic partnership benefits. Beth Murphy, the editorial editor for the Star, said that these priorities were drawn from the various endorsement interviews the editorial board has held with Democratic candidates.