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Ind. lawmakers effectively kill proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage

Thursday, February 13, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS — Opponents of an effort to place Indiana’s gay marriage ban in the state constitution won a surprising victory Thursday as the Senate effectively pushed off a statewide vote on the issue for at least two years, and possibly longer.

Indiana state capitol in Indianapolis.

Indiana state capitol in Indianapolis.

The Indiana Senate considered no amendments and did not debate before advancing the proposed ban without a provision that would have barred civil unions and could have prevented employers from offering benefits to same-sex couples.

The expansive language had raised concerns among many lawmakers, including those who otherwise supported limiting marriage to being between one man and one woman.

The House stripped that language from the amendment before passing it last month, and the Senate’s decision not to restore the language before voting Thursday means the effort to amend the constitution must start fresh.

Indiana requires constitutional amendments to be approved in the same form in two consecutive biennial meetings of the General Assembly. The ban with the civil unions language first passed in 2011 and had seemed a slam dunk this year in the Republican-controlled Legislature. That would have set up a statewide vote in November.

But opponents began organizing early last year and lined up powerful names in the state’s business and higher education communities to support their arguments.

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Supporters of the ban said it was needed to prevent courts from overturning Indiana’s law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. But they struggled to find their footing after House lawmakers stripped the civil unions language.

Republican Sen. Mike Delph had offered an amendment that would have restored the language, but he said he did not call it because there wasn’t enough support for it to pass.

Republican Gov. Mike Pence lobbied for a November vote on the ban in his State of the State address and at a rally of ban supporters but later said he was removing himself from the legislative debate.

Senate Pro Tem David Long said the soonest a public vote on the amendment could be held now is 2016.

Developing story, check back for updates.

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50 more reader comments:

  1. Awesome news.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:40pm
  2. finally, some sense shines thru like the sun

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:40pm
  3. It all seems to be the same States that banned Darwin

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:40pm
  4. yes

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:41pm
  5. And NOM can continue to SUCK IT!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:42pm
  6. Great news from and for the Hoosier state!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:42pm
  7. Again before I go crazy same sex marriage

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:43pm
  8. Wunnerful!!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:44pm
  9. Cheers! Let’s drop some paper on Indy and get this rolling..

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:46pm
  10. Good.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:46pm
  11. The U.S has been making great strides this year in many areas that need improving, and it’s only February!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:48pm
  12. Yay! :-) as if a constitutional ban will do anything? Utah, hello? Oi!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:49pm
  13. Thank God :))))))

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:50pm
  14. This is the beginning of something great for Indiana!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:53pm
  15. great news for my fellow hoosiers…sweet valentine’s day!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:55pm
  16. I’m not quite what to believe here because two hours ago LGBTQ Nation made another post that two republican lawmakers added the civil union ban back in and proceeding forward..so what’s the scoop LGBT Nation?

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:55pm
  17. Kansas is going backwards

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:57pm
  18. Gov. Pence you can kiss my a@@!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:58pm
  19. good, more sense than kansas.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 7:58pm
  20. yay finally ther is hope

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:06pm
  21. This is good news for us. I hope that by 2016, the US Supreme Court decides that gay marriage and nondiscrimination policies are the standard.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:25pm
  22. Indiana does something right; hope Kansas will notice.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:27pm
  23. omg they actually did the right thing

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:32pm
  24. yay… a smart move finally..

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:35pm
  25. nice common sense prevails

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:35pm
  26. Why delay it? Just rule that everyone deserve equal rights!!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:42pm
  27. Thank you to Indiana for finally doing something that won’t make me hang my head in shame!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:44pm
  28. Indiana: 1
    Kansas: 0 and a vehement ‘kiss my ass’

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 8:45pm
  29. Backwoods Indiana… Is finally catching up :D

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:01pm
  30. Will PA ever have marriage equality?

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:04pm
  31. YAY!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:12pm
  32. Woo hoo! Two more years for Indiana to evolve and step onto the right side of history.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:23pm
  33. Texas’ turn now!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:34pm
  34. Eli, I was down there today at statehouse! You would’ve been proud!!!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:42pm
  35. I’m proud and celebrating from a distance, Sis. Glad you could be there to be part of it.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 9:45pm
  36. Good for them. Now straighten up and fly right Indiana. Um…never mind that “straighten” part.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:01pm
  37. A quote from Indiana Republican David Long, “In reality, I think the issue is going to be before the United States Supreme Court — as I’ve said before — and it’s either going to be a state’s rights issue and each state decides for itself or it’s going to be decided by the Supreme Court that it’s a violation of the 14th Amendment,” Long said. “One way or another they’re going to have the final say in this because the U.S. Constitution trumps a state constitution.”

    OK………if this is the sentiment they why is this such an issue and why do some states keep fighting a losing battle when a ranking member of the Senate even admits the US Constitution will trump the states????

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:03pm
  38. It’s like a game of political Pong: one side shoots off the dirty legislation, and the other rejects it by smacking it back at them.

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:07pm
  39. it will never happen

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:36pm
  40. It’s weird for me to call this a win because nothing progressed but I am happy nonetheless. This gives us time to change the minds (or people) in the Indiana legislature. Marriage Equality might actually be a possibility!

    Posted on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 11:45pm
  41. HALLELUJAH!! C’MON BUCKEYE STATE!!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 1:05am
  42. Oh, they’ll try again…and they will fail again! How many times has ACA been up for repeal? Same line of crap…

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 1:49am
  43. http://www.facebook.com/againstbill2453 the bill states that businesses may refuse service to same-sex couples in Kansas based on their religious beliefs- this is not right!!! Sign the petition on this page and spread the knowledge .

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:47am
  44. Good for them!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:54am
  45. Now if only Wyoming would have done the same.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:15am
  46. Just another political enema without lube for the GOP. Now to vote their sorry asses out in November so we can get on with abandoning legislated bigotry.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:43am
  47. Good!!!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 5:02am
  48. I think they see how many states are getting them shot down at this point and why go through the time, cost and agony of doing such a dumb bill when you know it’s going to get crushed

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 6:38am
  49. time is on our side !

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 9:31am
  50. Good for Indiana!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 1:48pm