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Indiana

Ind. House strikes ‘second sentence’ from proposed gay marriage ban

Monday, January 27, 2014

Updated: 7:55 p.m. EST

INDIANAPOLIS — Same-sex couples in Indiana might eventually be able to enter into civil unions, but not marriages, under changes the House pushed Monday that could effectively delay a constitutional ban on same sex-weddings.

IndianaOpponents of the marriage ban got a temporary victory with a bipartisan vote to remove a sentence from the proposed constitutional amendment that would have barred civil unions in addition to marriages. Indiana law currently limits marriage to being between one man and one woman, but supporters are looking to strengthen that ban by placing it in the constitution.

If the altered amendment clears the House and eventually the Senate, it could restart the clock on the legislative process for amending the state constitution. Under the amendment process, the same measure must be approved in two consecutive sessions and then by voters, so the earliest approval date for a potential ban could be pushed back to 2016.

Activists gathered outside the chamber cheered loudly after the 52-43 vote to remove the sentence from House Joint Resolution 3.

But much could change between now and the end of the 2014 legislative session, scheduled to wrap up in Mid-March.

Supporters of the marriage ban argued that removing the second sentence could also increase the chances of the state drawing a court challenge to the proposed constitutional amendment.

“I believe HJR-3, as written, is the right public policy for the state of Indiana,” said Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, and the author of the marriage ban. “The second sentence simply prevent s marriage by any other name.”

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The sentence has been a sticking point for many lawmakers, including some who have said they otherwise support banning gay marriage. Opponents have focused their efforts on striking the language and have argued that it could prevent employers from offering benefits to same-sex couples.

Supporters of the measure said Monday that similar language in other states hasn’t had that effect.

Twenty-three Republicans joined 29 Democrats to strip out the second sentence. Outright opponents of HJR-3 joined with lawmakers who said their concerns lies only with that second sentence to alter the measure.

“The only way to fix HJR-3 is to delete both sentences,” said Rep. Ed Clere, R-New Albany, who opposes HJR-3 outright.

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45 more reader comments:

  1. What do they hope to accomplish? Love is love and no one can change that.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:18pm
  2. very true

    Replied on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:23pm
  3. They hope to delay the inevitable for a little while in order to get votes and campaign donations out of conservatives.

    Replied on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:25pm
  4. I think out of ultra-conservatives - others are moving more toward letting it happen!

    Replied on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:45pm
  5. Government sanctioned hate! How nice!

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:22pm
  6. It doesn’t really matter what they pass, eventually it will be found unconstitutional like similar laws in Utah and Oklahoma were found to be in Federal court. They’re just delaying the inevitable.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:23pm
  7. Do people read the article or just comment based on the title?

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:24pm
  8. I say we ban Indiana.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:26pm
  9. Why? We worked our asses off and have killed the bill!

    Replied on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:34pm
  10. So this is a good victory right? I was a little confused at first, but this seems to be good that they took out the sentence and effectively delayed any sort of public vote on banning it from the Constitution… Right?

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:26pm
  11. It delays this from going to the state senate and then the people to vote on.... for at least 2 more years.

    Replied on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:33pm
  12. Thanks James. I wasn't 100% sure what was happening when I watched the live vote because I hadn't been paying too close attention to this. Well it sounds like a small victory is better than a large defeat.

    Replied on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:42pm
  13. By striking the second line it basically kills the bill

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:28pm
  14. The senate can still remove the amendment, and send it back to the house, so much work still to be done…

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:30pm
  15. That would be unprecedented in the State of Indiana.

    Replied on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:34pm
  16. As a 40+ yr resident of Indiana, nothing is unprecendented to me anymore...

    Replied on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:35pm
  17. Not a total victory, but prayers are being answered. Thank you to all who voted for the change.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:33pm
  18. So much money wasted on easily overturned garbage when it could have been spent on improving Indiana’s education system.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:34pm
  19. Hopefully #SCOTUS can fix this issue before it ever gets to the ballot box in Indiana

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:34pm
  20. Susan Thomas

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:39pm
  21. strike all sentences. Save taxpayer dollars and let same sex marriages happen! I see lawsuits to follow!

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:43pm
  22. lol

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:45pm
  23. Marc Goldberg – yes until 2016 to be on the ballot instead of earlier.

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:46pm
  24. Thanks Frank. Well that's a long time from now, hopefully more will change by then and this will just go away entirely.

    Replied on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:53pm
  25. Take that Bosma, we hope defeat tastes nice and bitter and it will i9n 2016 too :D

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:48pm
  26. Not good enough!

    Posted on Monday, January 27, 2014 at 11:49pm
  27. The Indiana state legislators who proposed this amendment should be impeached, jailed, and fined for wasting of public time, money, and resources.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:10am
  28. Could you imagine the response if they tried to pass a state constitutional amendment banning any other group from the civil right of civil marriage? Every “representative” who votes for this travesty should be voted out of office in November.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:16am
  29. Well, a legislator in Oklahoma proposed banning marriage for EVERYONE.

    Replied on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:48am
  30. Hey, if nothing else Indiana may obtain Civil Unions. It’s not marriage, but it’s something I suppose.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:17am
  31. My friend was there all day, at the State House, I would’ve been there but I’m in Massachusetts, she was in my thoughts all day.so happy

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:21am
  32. As a person who’s lived in Indiana my whole life, I agree with banning Indiana.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:29am
  33. this makes me feel all warm and fuzzy ^_^

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:33am
  34. The best thing about Indiana is the fact that Cole Porter’s birthplace, Peru, is there.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:01am
  35. People like to play around!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:09am
  36. Soon the courts will have their turn and will strike the whole bigoted law down!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 1:36am
  37. Not good enough, the whole Civil Union/Domestic partnership is dated and not equal.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:08am
  38. Striking sentences? They should keep going. . . .

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 3:47am
  39. the delay would be extremely helpful. hopefully it can be completely dropped before 2016.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:27am
  40. Republicans bashing gays as usual.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 4:46am
  41. Unless civil unions are legally identical to marriage in every way, including federally, to marriage, it’s still a violation of 5th Amendment rights to due process.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 11:29am
  42. We are not second class citizens. We deserve equal rights as straight couples do. This country is governed by the constitution not the bible.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:21pm
  43. there was a time this would have been acceptable to me however, separate but equal does not equal equality. Don’t accept Jim Crow treatment! We are Americans God damnit, liberty and justice for ALL.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:22pm
  44. Notice it’s not just republicans? At this point it’s not politicians that take a stand but their personal beliefs are included. Were gonna win. I know this. BELIEVE IT!

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 12:44pm
  45. Who cares. In less than 2 years the US Supreme Court will overturn all state bans on same-sex marriage.

    Posted on Tuesday, January 28, 2014 at 2:21pm