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Indiana GOP leaders push same-sex marriage battle to 2014

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Updated: 2 p.m. ET.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s Republican House and Senate leaders said Thursday they will wait a year before they take up an effort to write a gay marriage ban into the state’s constitution.

House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long said their respective caucuses decided the issue should wait until the 2014 session.

Long, R-Fort Wayne, and Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said they still support the amendment and believe it will win approval from lawmakers and voters, but they are wary of taking on the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court rules on related cases this summer.

“It’s inadvisable to even have that discussion at the moment, despite the importance of the issue, until the Supreme Court has given a red light or a green light,” Bosma said.

Social conservatives in the House and Senate had pressed them to tackle the issue this year.

The first case before the Supreme Court involves California’s constitutional amendment that forbids same-sex marriage. The second concerns a federal law that denies gay couples who legally marry the right to obtain federal benefits available to heterosexual married couples.ssue before the Supreme Court rules on related cases this summer. Social conservatives in the House and Senate have pressed them to tackle the issue now, rather than waiting a year.

Gay marriage is currently allowed in nine states — Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington— and the District of Columbia.

Indiana lawmakers approved the constitutional ban in 2011 despite arguments from opponents that it was unnecessary because state law already limits marriage to being between one man and one woman. Supporters of writing the ban into the Indiana Constitution have said a judge could approve gay marriage by overturning state law.

Under the state’s constitutional amendment process, lawmakers have until next year to consider putting the marriage ban before voters. The measure must pass the Legislature again before it can be put on a ballot.

Thursday’s decision means supporters of gay marriage and benefits for gay couples can rest easy for a year. Indiana Equality Action President Rick Sutton thanked Bosma and Long following the announcement.

“We’re pretty happy today,” Sutton said.

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9 more reader comments:

  1. ugh i wish wv would put this topic up on the decision board

    Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 9:37am
  2. Ok to ban marriage but not guns… interesting….

    Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 9:46am
  3. Redneck idiots.

    Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 10:45am
  4. Why can’t Indiana get with the program? LOVE IS LOVE!

    Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 11:42am
  5. They’ll lose.

    Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 12:54pm
  6. assholes

    Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 1:03pm
  7. Booooooooo

    Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 1:10pm
  8. How the H*ll did Indiana escape from the South. It’s totally out of place in a region as progressive as the Midwest. Why is it these state legislatures feel the need to put their hate on display? I would assume that it isn’t legal for same sex couples to marry in Indiana now.

    Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 1:11pm
  9. @Johnny as a rsident of this state4, I agree, this state doesnt even have domestic partner benefits for state employees let along get married and until last year could discrimate on sexual orientation on housing. Pushing this vote until next year is a huge step forward for this state.

    Posted on Thursday, February 7, 2013 at 1:19pm