Indiana Senate committee advances amendment to ban same-sex marriage


INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — The Indiana state Senate Judiciary Committee voted 7-3 — along party lines — on Wednesday to advance a constitutional amendment which bans both gay marriage as well as civil unions.

Same sex marriage is already illegal in Indiana, but the legislature wants to prevent judges from overturning the current ban.

Indiana Republican legislators are worried that the same thing will happen in their state as it did in Iowa, where in 2009, the state Supreme Court overturned the law banning same-sex marriage.

If they are successful in passing a constitutional amendment, the courts would have no power to overturn it.

The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports:

The proposed language specifically says “only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

The second sentence effectively would ban legislators from enacting civil unions in the future.

The bill has already passed the House, and with the committee’s passage it now moves on to the full Senate.

The good news is that even if the Senate passes the bill, Indiana law requires that it be voted on again by the next elected legislature (in 2014) before it moves on to a final vote by citizens. So Indiana has two years to get the right people in office.

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