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Ind. Senate panel advances same-sex marriage ban, sends bill to full Senate

Monday, February 10, 2014
Indiana state capitol in Indianapolis.

Indiana state capitol in Indianapolis.

Updated: 7:30 p.m. EST

INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana Senate committee voted 8-4 Monday evening, along party lines, in favor of a proposed constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, setting up a Senate battle on the issue later this week.

The Rules Committee, comprised of Democratic and Republican Senate leaders and chaired by Senate President Pro Tem David Long, waded through three hours of often emotional testimony on House Joint Resolution 3, before advancing the measure.

Monday’s vote now sets up a debate over whether the so-called “second sentence” of HJR 3, banning civil unions, will be reinserted by Senate lawmakers.

The House narrowly stripped the “second sentence” ban on civil unions on a bipartisan vote last month, amid concerns that it went too far, even for supporters of the gay marriage ban. But HJR 3 supporters have urgently called for the sentence to be restored in order to set up a November public vote on the issue.

Indiana’s constitutional amendment process requires proposals be vetted in two consecutive biennial meetings of the General Assembly, then go before voters in order to be written into the constitution. But passing the ban without the second sentence would restart the clock, making the soonest any public vote could happen 2016.

The proposed ban won broad bipartisan support in 2011, sailing through the General Assembly with little notice during a year in which sweeping education changes and five-week walkout by House Democrats dominated the debate. But a strong coalition of opponents, led by some of the biggest players in the state’s business and higher education communities, emerged as a powerful force this year.

Curt Smith, president of the Indiana Family Institute and one of the conservatives leading the charge in favor of HJR 3, argued the “second sentence” is needed to protect the state against legal challenges, should the proposed ban be adopted.

“It’s not enough to just define marriage in an amendment like this. You have to defend marriage,” Smith said. “That’s the lesson from the courts.”

One of the potentially most influential voices, Republican Gov. Mike Pence, has largely removed himself from the debate, saying he supports reinserting the “second sentence” but will not be talking about the issue again until after the 2014 session ends.

Supporters of the ban showed up at the Statehouse Monday in larger numbers, in part with the help of African American church leaders who have mobilized recently. But they were still outnumbered by opponents, wearing red clothes, as they have throughout the Statehouse fight, to signify their opposition.

Jennifer Fisher, a recruiter in Fort Wayne, asked lawmakers to consider the personal implications of the ban for gay couples raising a family. She noted that she and her partner, a police officer from Fort Wayne, would like to have children at some point, but their legal standing in Indiana puts her in risk of losing their children.

“If she is killed in the line of duty, someone could take away my family,” she said.

The full Senate could take up debate on the marriage ban as soon as Thursday.

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113 more reader comments:

  1. Disgusting.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:44pm
  2. come on you hillbillies

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:45pm
  3. is there anywhere worse to live than Indiana

    Replied on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:45pm
  4. Probably not. Ugh i hate this place. So ashamed to live here.

    Replied on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:46pm
  5. I live in Indy. Never been more embarrassed in my life to admit that.

    Replied on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:47pm
  6. sorry

    Replied on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:48pm
  7. Let them secede then, and fly their confederate flags where the sun don't shine!

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 2:04am
  8. Human rights are not up for debate bigots.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:45pm
  9. Yes Arizona

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:45pm
  10. Horrible, but don’t they have to wait until 2016 now??

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:45pm
  11. We also have mid-term elections here in the states SO the tables may turn in 2014. ;-)

    Replied on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:47pm
  12. Oh I know haha, I'm Canadian but I'm an American politico :P Hopefully the Democrats do well in the fall :)

    Replied on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:48pm
  13. Why are people liking this?! There is nothing likable about this….

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:45pm
  14. Like knowing the status, not that it's a likable status.

    Replied on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:46pm
  15. Must be pretty sad living in fear.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:46pm
  16. booooo

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:46pm
  17. Hate mongers

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:47pm
  18. That’s very disappointing

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:47pm
  19. So embarrassed by my home state. Ugh!

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:48pm
  20. It will happen Indiana….Oklahoma is close, and if we can overturn it any state can

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:48pm
  21. boooooo

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:49pm
  22. OK Gay Community let’s start voting these folks out we do have the power…

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:49pm
  23. It’s like playing table tennis. One state removes the ban, the other introduces it…

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:49pm
  24. Indiana Senate votes to rename state Retardedwhitelandia itt

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:49pm
  25. The suck. And I was going to go there on a mini vacation.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:50pm
  26. I definitely recommend not to come here. Too much hate and not just from LGBT but also with different races. But if you'd still like to come then you can. .-.

    Replied on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:52pm
  27. Precedent has already been established at the Federal level. Even if this passes it will be struck down, sooner rather than later.

    This is one of the last gasps of reactionary bigotry from a dying breed of scared, mean-spirited old white men.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:50pm
  28. Very disappointing Indiana!

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:51pm
  29. Now that’s a job Creator.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:51pm
  30. Dear Citizens of Indiana : keep your KY handy … you are gonna get a BIG Legal bill shoved up you collective, tax paying asses.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:52pm
  31. All the gays should move to New York.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:52pm
  32. LMAO Ricky........Im from Indiana & I moved to Upstate NY 4 years ago!

    Replied on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:01pm
  33. A lot of them did!

    Replied on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:38pm
  34. Ain't gonna happen.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:49am
  35. no !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!thats the cowards way out coward leaves their issues behind a true courageous person fights and gains rights

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:51am
  36. Wow arent you just a lolly pop full of hate!!!!

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 1:06am
  37. No person should have to move because their state remains so backwards about equal rights. Shame on the state senate for not doing the right thing.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 1:11am
  38. Ricky, you don't like then you move. People with that mindset is the problem in Indiana.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 4:43am
  39. In Indiana we are living in 1850. We are ranked 48th out of 50 states in the up to datedness of our laws!

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 5:06am
  40. THEY SHOULD HAVE RIGHTS EVERYWHERE

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 2:02pm
  41. As I used to say to people who asked me why I never moved to Toronto: 'I wasn't aware it was required, and it's not as though it's a bastion of gay rights either. Besides, I'd rather stay and fight.'

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 2:39pm
  42. a Bronx cheer to Indiana’s senate…and a BOO HISS too!!!

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:53pm
  43. Interesting…waste of time as these bans are getting ready to be tossed soon hopefully.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:53pm
  44. Can we all put a ban on ignorance? What a sad situation…

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:54pm
  45. Not surprised, but other state representatives will step in the way.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:54pm
  46. Georgia is just as bad were part of the bible belt ne an my wife dislike it very much

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:55pm
  47. This is a very disappointing day.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:56pm
  48. They’re on the wrong side of history. They’ll figure out that you can’t legislate human rights.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:56pm
  49. they can vote on whatever they want.. shit isnt going to happen its unconstitutional so suck it kids..

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:57pm
  50. Breaking News This just in……No one wants Indiana as a state anymore!!!! consider them Biot al quada and bomb bomb bomb!!!! WTH is Indiana any way except for back woods bigot redneck motha fuckers?

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:57pm
  51. Not all of us from Indiana are evil. But I'm ashamed to be a Hoosier right now.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:46am
  52. Gee, spaz attack much? It's not much different than many other states, they too will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:51am
  53. I hate my state

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:57pm
  54. Justin Thomas Schrock. Fu#! U

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 10:58pm
  55. They should rename the State Backwardland

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:00pm
  56. Some Senators will be looking for a new job when their terms are up.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:02pm
  57. The sad, blue middle of the country who love to spread their misery.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:07pm
  58. guess I’m not surprised

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:08pm
  59. Bunch of bigoted asses!

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:11pm
  60. Shame on them. Did someone move the Mason Dixon line?

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:15pm
  61. A couple questions for any Americans out there – 1) why does each state get to decide on this, and 2) why has the Supreme Court ruled some states bans wrong but not others?

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:16pm
  62. The states get to decide because there is no Marriage laws written into the Constitution. The Supreme Court and it's large conservative numbers have only ruled on what has been brought to them and have dodged directly answering the entire question, not wanting to go down on record as being the ones who made the USA 'go gay', or so it has been interpreted.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 1:00am
  63. I look at it like this. Many of them will be out of jobs this coming November, same sex rights are not a joke, and it pisses me off that politician have the power to play with peoples natural rights. I’ve had enough of this shit here.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:17pm
  64. If it’s the newer version, that delays it til 2016. I think that buys some much needed time in this state. Next move is to try to change some members of this legislature this coming election so that it fails in 2016

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:17pm
  65. Ignorant

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:17pm
  66. So glad I live in Canada. We’ve had official marriage equality for a decade or more. I wish you all the best south of the border as you continue to fight the bigotry and hatred in the push toward equality. :)

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:21pm
  67. Could you imagine the response if they did this against any other minority group in the country?

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:22pm
  68. Another dinosaur state…

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:24pm
  69. NEW YORK……..the GREATEST city in the world! I’m quite partial because I am from NY

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:30pm
  70. These creatures would be happier in Russia or Nigeria.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:31pm
  71. When do they sign the papers making them officially a part of Iran? This action makes the Islamic Taliban quite proud. Good to learn that christians will follow their lead.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:32pm
  72. So disappointed in you Indiana…. so sorry you vote in law makers that think that heterosexuals deserve special privileges above others and deny deity of God who in infinite wisdom creationed diversity in human beings and who declared the greatest of these is LOVE. How dare you deny love equality!

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:33pm
  73. This is disgusting. These closed-minded and self-centered bigots need to just do what is inevitable and hop on the gravy train because this crap is getting old.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:35pm
  74. ASSHOLES

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:39pm
  75. Here’s a idea gay people and people who support gay people that live in Indiana should now in turn SUE the state of Indiana in a human rights lawsuit!

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:39pm
  76. Doesn't work like that.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 1:02am
  77. BULLSHIT IT DON'T! People are having their basic god given rights taken away or not given at all. FIGHT BACK!

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 2:21am
  78. Let them vote on as they may! We would never move back to Indianapolis! The entire state is behind the times.

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:41pm
  79. Overturn that trailer park!

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:43pm
  80. Backward bastards….

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:53pm
  81. Looks like this need to go to Supreme Court in violation of the us consituation

    Posted on Monday, February 10, 2014 at 11:59pm
  82. And if it passes…..it will be undone in the future. Look at the other states…..and more are filing law suits.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:02am
  83. Ummm…I live in Indiana! I have my whole life. We ain’t a bunch of ‘backwoods redneck mother fuckas’. so unless you know EVERYBODY FROM Indiana DON’T start judging us!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:08am
  84. No, but the Indiana House and Senate are full of them.

    Replied on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 1:01am
  85. Waste of time. Eventually it will be declared unconstitutional.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:14am
  86. I would be outraged that they are wasting my tax money on a law that will be thrown out by the Supreme Court anyway

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:16am
  87. it isn’t your choice to give or remove rights.. wait till the next vote comes.. the people will give you their opinion of bigots

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:17am
  88. I was raised in Indiana, when i was 16 I left home never to look back. Nothing changes if Nothing changes.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:20am
  89. Amber waves of shame…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:25am
  90. NOT a thing to like or approve.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:27am
  91. Not a surprise, I’ve said it all along. With much drama and gnashing of teeth, the bill will pass, the bill will be put on the ballots, pass, and then be invalidated by SCOTUS. This is the same state that refused to let a little kid go to school because he caught HIV from a blood transfusion. This is the same state that up until just a very short time back did NOT observe Daylight Savings time but put numerous 2 hour delays on school classes because it was foggy and dark(because sunrise was an hour away.)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:57am
  92. I think this is so stupid and a waste of time!! Dont they know once this happens they will be sued as a state!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 1:06am
  93. social inbreds

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 1:15am
  94. THEY SUCK!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 1:20am
  95. They are on the losing side of history and they know it!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 1:21am
  96. It will be nice to see all these losers out of a job come November. The sad part is, they know it and they are doing all this nasty stuff, thinking that it will be permanent as they cling to their last months of power. It won’t.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 1:38am
  97. good :)

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 1:46am
  98. Bigots

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 2:20am
  99. Way to go Indiana! You’re on your way to declaring yourself a new Russian republic! High fives for bigotry and discrimination! Maybe you could please approve of a 20 ft wall arising your state too and please include a moot and electrified fence! god knows we don’t want any of those pesky fags getting in!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 2:24am
  100. Ok Indiana don’t ask for federal assistance after your states next disaster! We gays and allies pay for your states recovery. So exempt us from that TOO!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 2:49am
  101. Time will soon be running out on the aging white right wing CON racist bigots and they know it …. they are starting to die off and a majority of younger voters are socially progressive. The Republican Party is fading away and soon they will be replaced by a radical TEA Party representing only 25% of the general electorate.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 3:13am
  102. So goes the horrible religious right and their bigotry in America!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 3:38am
  103. Goddamned bigots

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 3:46am
  104. Indiana is merely a stepping stone state… You go through it to pass the North East/Middle section of America rather than going out of your way to avoid it… Trust me… Gotta go through it half the time when going South from Michigan…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 4:25am
  105. …and when this is overturned, and the state spends millions more to fight the overturning, only to be denied, will it finally be over?

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 4:31am
  106. Because Bosma replaced the people on the panel who objected with sheeple who would vote yes.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 5:05am
  107. 10 bucks says this Ban will last like 8 weeks…6 months tops

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 5:26am
  108. Civil Rights violation…

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 10:59am
  109. Civil rights violation and needs to be shut down

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 12:31pm
  110. I think a lot of politicians will be out of a Job even on a national level when elections come around.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 1:58pm
  111. THE SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES WILL SOON DECLARE HOMOSEXUALS A CLASS WORTHY OF 14TH AMENDMENTMENT PROTECTECTIONS

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 2:01pm
  112. When do we get to vote RETROACTIVELY on your marriages, darlings? Oh, dear, seems you haven’t had children. Oh, my, you were FAR too old to have children when you got married. Scofflaws will not be tolerated. Hard labour for fraudulent marriage.

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 2:38pm
  113. SO ON THE WRONG SIDE OF HISTORY !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 3:11pm