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Indiana

Ind. Senate approves limited gay marriage ban, but no vote before 2016

Monday, February 17, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Senate voted Monday to amend the state constitution by banning gay marriage, but it will be 2016 at the earliest before the measure appears on a statewide ballot because of a late change that limits the scope of the ban.

Indiana State House in Indianapolis.

Indiana State House in Indianapolis.

By voting 32-17 in favor of the diluted measure, senators finished the Legislature’s work on an effort to add the state’s current gay marriage to the Indiana Constitution.

But because an original plan approved in 2011 prohibited civil unions as well, lawmakers restarted on the process by voting last month to remove the civil union language from the proposed amendment.

As a result, a referendum that might that might have been held in November now much wait at least two more years.

The Senate’s vote followed roughly an hour of debate in public and close to three hours of debate in private among the Senate’s Republicans. A conservative Republican senator launched a last-minute effort to get the c ivil unions ban back in the measure and have it placed on the November ballot, but failed to sway enough Republicans during the three-hour private meeting.

Despite the fact that a public vote would not happen until at least 2016, supporters of the ban said they would have to settle for “half a loaf.” Supporters said they still were concerned a judge could step in and overturn Indiana’s existing gay marriage ban, which is written in law, but not the constitution.

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“I trust the people of Indiana more than I trust one individual,” said Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, shortly before voting in favor of the watered-down ban.

Monday’s vote completes a battle that saw social conservatives lose ground in one of the nation’s most conservative states. Hours before the Senate voted, conservatives were already blaming Republican legislative leaders for keeping the marriage ban from a November vote. After more than a decade of marriage battles in other states, Indiana became the national focus of groups looking to protect marriage from legal challenges.

The marriage ban passed this year would now have to be approved by lawmakers during their next biennial session, 2015-16, in its current form in order to appear on the 2016 ballot.

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37 more reader comments:

  1. Screw Indiana.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:12pm
  2. You know, there ARE thousands of us here fighting for equality. Enough with the blanket statements.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:14pm
  3. Lived there for 16 years. Stick by my response. I live in Michigan now. I say Screw them too.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:17pm
  4. Of course it would. It’s always been one of the stupid states.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:14pm
  5. I hate this city. Can’t wait to move were religious zealots don’t run things.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:14pm
  6. I understand, Randy. I REALLY miss living in Portland, Oregon; but I'm more determined than ever to be a part of stopping those zealots from getting what they want.

    Replied on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:19pm
  7. how many conservative idiots are in this state well we have 2 years to kill this and educated the backwards Idiots

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:18pm
  8. Disgusting, another state I will never visit, or spend any money in … If I want to go back in time, to a more hateful and prejudice time …. I will find a time machine ….

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:18pm
  9. Where is Indiana again. ?

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:19pm
  10. It doesn’t matter if they don’t add civil unions along with marriage into their constitution. Civil unions will never be the same thing as marriage. I would never enter a second class version of marriage used to treat other people differently. No little girl dreams of walking down the aisle in her beautiful dress at her civil union ceremony. No little boy dreams of asking his partner to civil union him/her.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:23pm
  11. That’s OK GOP… Keep digging your own re-election graves.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:23pm
  12. Sad day.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:24pm
  13. Stupid conservatives

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:24pm
  14. Unbelievable Indiana. So embarrassed to be a Hoosier. Pence needs to go because Pence has no sense!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:24pm
  15. Who cares! They should leave the Union and petition to join up with Russia or Nigeria or even Uganda ! Indiana is nothing but fly over territory full of ignorant bible thumpers who don’t understand the Bible or the message of Jesus!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:25pm
  16. Hopefully there will be more intelligent people in office by then that can strike down this bullshit before it ever gets to a vote!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:25pm
  17. The Supreme Court will decide before the 2016 elections. That’s why they found a delaying loophole.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:26pm
  18. yes yes yes

    Replied on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 2:16am
  19. They sure will!

    Replied on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 3:11am
  20. There are many of us in the Indiana LGBT community fighting every day in the trenches. Bashing Indiana does not help us fight for justice, freedom and equality. Indiana is the battleground of the heartland. Help us win the fight just like we helped our brothers and sisters around the nation win their fights!!

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:27pm
  21. they want to see how they do in the elections this fall. they know they are wrong and will be losing their seats.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:35pm
  22. Doesn’t matter what the state of Indiana does the US Supreme Court will knock this down when they rule gay marriage legal in the future.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:50pm
  23. Thank you Sam Tyler! Yes this is our home and the battle was a draw. This will be a non- issue in the big picture and the GOP knows this. We are not defeated by any means. Equality for all.

    Posted on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 11:51pm
  24. And by the time 2016 rolls around, most, if not all of the other states will have same sex marriage firmly in place so the vote on the bill won’t even be moot when it’s time comes, once again.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:03am
  25. im proud to be a transgender and gay proud. i live in kentucky and havent found the right guy but. very proud to show transgender and rainbow colors. sure would love to marry the man of my dreams but. we should beable to marry who we want. thats what should matter

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:06am
  26. If every person in IN votes straight line Democrat in November, this insanity will end and their “representatives” can work on the economy, jobs, environment, healthcare, roads, education. Of course marriage equality will be decided by the Supreme Court (7 of whom are Catholic). Let’s hope Obama gets to appoint more justices while he is still in office and while the Democrats still control the Senate!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:13am
  27. Love conquers all!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:16am
  28. Just Make Shure When You Vote For The President You Vote For The One Running That Passed Gay Marriage Or It Will Be Over Turned That’s Why There Waiting Until 2016 The governor Of NC Is Running And Is against Gay Marriage {Please Be Care Full When voting This Could Go Right Back To Where We Where

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:21am
  29. This is better than the bill going to a vote this year. Remember, in Massachusetts, after the court granted marriage rights, the state Congress voted to allow a bill like this one to go to a public vote. Enough of the ones who voted that way were either defeated in 2004 or changed their minds during the next session to defeat it before it was able to go to popular vote. Watch the movie “Saving Marriage”.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:38am
  30. Vote people THIS YEAR before it is too late and the GOP takes everyone’s rights away. Then vote again in 2016 .

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:48am
  31. Too little too late…2016 it will all be over by than…CHICKENS!!!-

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:53am
  32. cowards…. LOL they know it won’t pass the supreme court

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:58am
  33. Thank you Sam Tyler! I am a life-long Hoosier, and let me just say how very proud I am of the work that was done in such a short time by grassroots organizations like Freedom Indiana and their supporters. It’s these groups and the people who stand on the right side of history who make me proud to be a Hoosier. In the face of all my frustrations, I can’t imagine not being a part of this fight. Instead of bashing Indiana, maybe try being part of changing things.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 12:59am
  34. Bigots homophobes NAZI I say drag them out of office protest!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:05am
  35. pandering to the religious right

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:10am
  36. Hang in there folks! No one would have ever dreamed that Virginia would send the Republican Party packing and issue them a FULL AND COMPLETE REJECTION of their ideology! We have made this transition over just a period of a few years! We, the Virginia Voters, have given “The Old Dominion” a Democratic Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, 2 Democratic Senators and Control of the Virginia Senate! Next on the agenda…take over control of the Virginia House of Delegates! So it shall be written, so it shall be done! Virginia is finally living its own Truth and your STATE will too very soon!… Yes, my friends, the year 2014 has brought a whole new outlook for millions and millions of your fellow citizens… My State’s Motto now has true meaning… Yes indeed… Virginia is for lovers! :-D

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:18am
  37. Grasping at straws to fight an avalanche.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 at 1:20am