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Indiana same-sex marriage fight delayed (at least 2 years)… but not over

Thursday was the last day lawmakers could have put the bill back on track for the November ballot
Friday, February 14, 2014
Charlie Nye, The Indianapolis Star (AP)Citizens for Community Values of Indiana representatives hold up a large banner outside the Statehouse in Indianapolis on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. From left are Ross Byrne, South Bend; Pamm Thomas, Osceola; and Tom Uebbing, South Bend.

Charlie Nye, The Indianapolis Star (AP)
Citizens for Community Values of Indiana representatives demonstrate outside the Statehouse in Indianapolis on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. From left are Ross Byrne, South Bend; Pamm Thomas, Osceola; and Tom Uebbing, South Bend.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Senate’s decision to advance a proposed ban on same-sex marriage without also blocking civil unions has reset the clock on the issue getting to voters, setting the stage for continuing fights for at least two years.

Opponents won a surprising victory Thursday when the Senate refused to restore a ban on civil unions that had been stripped by the House. In Indiana, a proposed constitutional amendment must twice be approved by the Legislature – unchanged and in consecutive biennial legislative sessions – before making the ballot.

That means the proposed ban, which sailed through the GOP-controlled Legislature during the 2011-2012 session, won’t make the November ballot. The soonest it could go before voters is now 2016.

But supporters vowed to continue fighting. Micah Clark, executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana, said: “We will be back next year, pushing to take this issue to the people of Indiana.”

Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane said Senate Democrats also will do everything they can to keep the issue off the table.

“This is not something future Hoosiers say is a good idea,” said Lanane, a Democrat from Anderson. “It’s not good for the future of Indiana, and it’s not good for the future of the nation.”

Senate President Pro Tem David Long said he was ready to continue the debate in 2015 and 2016, but the Republican expected the courts to be the final arbiter.

“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.”

A federal court ruling this week that ordered Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states was weighed in private discussions among Senate Republicans, and Long said he could sense momentum building for a high court ruling.

Indiana’s gay marriage fight also was playing out as federal courts in Oklahoma and Utah overturned constitutional bans and New Mexico’s high court overturned that state’s ban.

The Indiana House last month stripped from the proposal the so-called “second sentence,” which sought to ban civil unions. On Thursday, in a parliamentary move that spared state senators a tough vote, the Senate advanced the measure without restoring the language, meaning the effort to amend the Indiana Constitution must start fresh.

Even if Indiana’s marriage ban clears the Senate on a final vote Monday, it would have to be debated again in the next biennial session, 2015-2016, before it could appear before voters.

The Senate’s decision caps a sharp turnabout in Indiana, where just three years ago the constitutional ban passed the General Assembly with overwhelming majorities. But national attitudes on gay marriage have shifted sharply since then, and ban opponents were able to build a strong coalition that lobbied Indiana lawmakers heavily – privately and in public.

Indiana’s gay marriage fight also opened a rift among Republicans in the solidly conservative state. Pro-business conservatives, including many who had worked closely with former Gov. Mitch Daniels, largely lined up against the marriage ban. Social conservatives, mostly aligned with Republican Gov. Mike Pence, fought hard to shepherd the ban to the 2014 ballot.

Some of the Republican Party’s strongest fundraisers, including former George W. Bush’s economic adviser Al Hubbard and former Indiana Republican Party Chairman Jim Kittle, opened their wallets for Freedom Indiana, the umbrella organization opposing the gay marriage ban.

“Six months ago, if you’d said lawmakers would refuse to put this issue on the ballot in 2014 by stripping out the deeply flawed second sentence, I’d have said there’s no way,” said Megan Robertson, Freedom Indiana campaign manager and a veteran Indiana Republican operative.

Supporters expressed anger with Senate Republicans following Thursday’s action. Kellie Fiedorek, a lawyer with Alliance Defending Freedom, said residents would likely be angry with lawmakers for depriving them a chance to vote on the marriage ban.

“I think there are a lot of folks who are very upset with how their representatives have acted and how they basically betrayed them and went back on promises to vote for marriage and give them the opportunity to vote this year,” Fiedorek said.

The author of a proposal that would have restored the civil unions ban bemoaned the fact that he could not find enough support among Republicans. Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, wrote on Twitter that the “second sentence is officially dead” for the year.

When the constitutional ban came up for consideration Thursday, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann – who presides over the Senate – asked lawmakers if they had any amendments. The Senate chamber was silent, as were hundreds of activists just outside the chamber who had been chanting and singing just minutes earlier.

Ellspermann then acknowledged she’d heard no amendments to the measure, and declared it ready for a final vote. Thursday was the last day lawmakers could have altered the measure and put it back on track for the November ballot.

Delph later said he did not seek a vote on restoring the “second sentence” language because he knew it would fail.

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

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

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81 more reader comments:

  1. Those people holding the sign are ignorant, ugly, rude, discriminatory, and deserve nothing (the nicest thing I could say). Smfh.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:56pm
  2. My aunt would call them mudaki. Arseholes.

    Replied on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:05pm
  3. They also look like they are a thousand years old!! OF COURSE they are against it.

    Replied on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:26pm
  4. Are they just waiting for the people in the picture to die? Smart move.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:56pm
  5. huge turnout! lol

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:56pm
  6. FUCK ! Only for Love is Love , no Man and Women thank you !

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:57pm
  7. Only a fool tries to hold back the incoming tide….

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:58pm
  8. Correction; One person in love + one person in love = marriage.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:58pm
  9. YES!

    Replied on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:20pm
  10. CORRECT Correction. Anyone in love may it be two people, or a group of 3+ = marriage. Get it right

    Replied on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:26pm
  11. Anybody as long as they're all consenting adults. Not sure if extraterrestrials can apply here, though, so... lol (Don't get mad, guys, it's a joke.)

    Replied on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:20pm
  12. Billy, that is an entirely different layer of discrimination we are just not ready to face or fix yet, lol. Also, ETs may never reveal themselves. I mean, look how humans treat other humans and worse how they treat animals.

    Replied on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:23pm
  13. Oh look, 2 assholes

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 2:59pm
  14. In 2 years the US Supreme Court would have already legalized it nationwide…

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:00pm
  15. That would b awesome!

    Replied on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:03pm
  16. That is bs I’m from GA and i don’t think it Will ever pass here gggeeerrrrr

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:01pm
  17. King Solomon supposedly has 1000 sig. others

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:02pm
  18. i wonder if those ppl in the pic will one day feel shameful for how stupid they look denying others the right they have?

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:02pm
  19. 1 MAN + 1 WOMAN = 70% DIVORCE RATE!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:02pm
  20. I’d have a sign next to them saying “You’ll be dead soon.”

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:02pm
  21. Why? WHY do people put so much energy into making life harder for other people when these people don’t harm anyone?

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:03pm
  22. but Virginia got it going on today.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:03pm
  23. Old white people. Of course.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:03pm
  24. These people need to realize that the stone ages are over.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:04pm
  25. Old white people without a clue…,

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:05pm
  26. Is it wrong that I went “Awwww poor little fellas” lol
    They are just sad little old people that don’t get the world they grew up in is gone……change is coming.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:07pm
  27. Looks like two man and one women in the picture to me.. what is up with that?? If you noticed what generation they are in?? Apparently they never read or watch Romeo… You should be able to love who you love without interference from others.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:07pm
  28. what a crock of horse shit

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:09pm
  29. Look who is holding up the signs…bitter, old, fat, white men and long, gray haired lady…an ancient and past part of America…bigotry no longer controls this great nation.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:09pm
  30. Marry me men

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:10pm
  31. Why is it that almost always the people holding signs like this are old white men? This generation still has a voice, an opinion and enough energy to continue to fight, but the truth of the matter is, they are dying off… literally. This country will look a lot different (in my opinion) in 2 years time… and such a vote would be unconstitutional.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:11pm
  32. Some people need to open their eyes, minds, and hearts… Some won’t. but people can not help who they fall in love with and want to share a life with and to even have to vote on equality is ridiculous. Did i miss the pole date when i could vote on straight marriage?!???!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:11pm
  33. YES IT IS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:13pm
  34. Better than nothing I guess but not much!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:14pm
  35. One man and one woman is not necessary for a marriage. You know the only things necessary for a marriage? Love, respect, and commitment. I’m so sick of people using HATE as an excuse for why LOVE should be outlawed.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:15pm
  36. There is no definition of marriage anymore.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:15pm
  37. these people sure have a hard on for discrimination.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:16pm
  38. BULLSHIT !!!!! STR8 MARRIAGES ARE FUCKED ON THIER OWN LEAVE US MARRY WHO WE LOVE FUCKERS !!!!!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:16pm
  39. I predict, given the rate that we’re getting federal rulings against these laws, that two years will be too late.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:17pm
  40. 1 MAN VIEW’s AND 1 WOMAN VIEW’s does not give them Right ot say anything about THE OTHER PEOPLE WHO PAY TAXES !!! THAT EQUALS BEING AMERICAN !!!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:17pm
  41. ahem.. No one can rightfully say anything about anyone regardless of tax status... Serious...

    Replied on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:27pm
  42. Love is love this suppose to a country of freedom who are they to control anything or anyone,they are not the people who want to get married to whom they love.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:22pm
  43. Again people and churches spending lots of money on pushing they’re religious beliefs and hatred instead of helping others in need if they really want to go political then It’s time to tax them for if you pay lobbyists then you’re in business and need to be treated as such

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:24pm
  44. 1 Man + 1 Woman = Marriage……………True. Of course, 2 + 2 = 4, and so does 3 + 1. Just saying.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:26pm
  45. Bite me

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:27pm
  46. VOTE if we vote enough of these haters out we can be more free from the party of no and hate for the 98%

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:27pm
  47. Love is Love and This is good news

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:28pm
  48. These hate groups ought to get the IRS breathing down THEIR necks! Tax them all.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:30pm
  49. They say nothing about 1 man, 6 wives but stick their closeted noses in ours! What a bunch if bored 3$$Noles!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:31pm
  50. Oops, FAIL.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:34pm
  51. No Marriage is not one man plus a woman. Its one man pluse a man in a cape, get it right.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:35pm
  52. 1 man and 1 women don’t = marriage , you need to add 2 cows , 4 pigs, and 5 chickens

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:35pm
  53. Really? In whose book………..oh THAT one…….I can point to many more books that say the opposite…….who ya gonna believe?

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:42pm
  54. Yeah, old white people holding that sign…figures

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:48pm
  55. 1 stupid person + 1 stupid person + 1 stupid person = 3 stupid people holding a banner

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:50pm
  56. We will win my family hold your heads high and go forth be proud of who you are!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:50pm
  57. Only 3 idiots holding a sign – the rest of them joined the right side of history.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:54pm
  58. Come on Indiana! Everyone deserves the right to be married! Once again I’m ashamed to be a Hoosier.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:56pm
  59. 1 MAN – 1 WOMAN = DIVORCE

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:56pm
  60. It’s funny to me that so many Christians say the bible says this very thing…well it doesn’t. Biblical marriage is one man buying his wives and he can have several wives and concubines!! Oops, guess they can’t read.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:56pm
  61. It should say tax breaks + civil partnership = marriage. Because that’s actually true.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 3:59pm
  62. America is suppose to be one of the greatest country in the world well then stop taking equal rights away from The LGBTQ people and stop voting on marriage and I don’t have a problem with them wanting equal rights or to get married because they deserve to be happy to

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:05pm
  63. Yeah don’t forget “Til death do us part” but that’s overlooked right? “Better or worse” or just until a “better” MAN OR WOMAN comes along. The meaning of marriage to these people is tainted. Marriage is for people in love! How would they like it if divorce was illegal again? And if you were caught committing adultery you were tried for treason and hung or beheaded. How’s that for your old school values?!?! How quickly people forget the past when they want to. Not long ago those same people probably picketed against blacks and whites intermingling. Or marrying or pissing in the same toilets!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:07pm
  64. Y do they need to cAre

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:08pm
  65. Not for long

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:08pm
  66. …..
    1 Man + 1 Man = Marriage, too
    1 Woman + 1 Woman = Marriage, too

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:08pm
  67. Haha fuckers! You really think in two years gay marriage and pot won’t be legal?

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:09pm
  68. Equal rights to love one women to another woman or a man to a man

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:11pm
  69. I hang my head in shame stating that i live in this backasswards state- not by choice- by job location

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:12pm
  70. So Right,Juliette!!!!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:15pm
  71. They waste more time fighting than just letting the love flow to whomever…

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:17pm
  72. Judging a person does not define them GBLT it defines (You) God does (Not!) hate
    me ….. (You DO) BACK OFF!!!!!!!!
    Just because you’re gay have to act upon it.. just because you’re a
    lesbian you have act it just because you’re a bisexual have to act up it …doesn’t mean you have to act upon it just because you’re a Christian with the (Bible with you believe (Doesn’t Mean) you have to ACT! upon it and Force your BLIEVES on somebody else) so JUST BACK OFF!! going me!. going be Free! I AM HAPPY!! TO BE GAY (GAY) THAT IS ….DONT let HATE ….HATE YOU! WHAT A WASTE OF TIME ……….. I DONT HAVE that kind of hate in my heart
    HART PEOPLE IN ALL 50 STATE PLEASE LET STOP!!!!!!!!!! THE HATE NAD BULLYING PLEASE WE ALL HAVE RIGHT TO LIVE RIGHT

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:21pm
  73. Old bigots… They look a little lonely.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:24pm
  74. Sometimes just a one-night stand after the bar closes!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:24pm
  75. OH! Please – you old people go inside before you get sick from the weather! Don’t worry with large banners that doesn’t mean anything – gay marriage is going to pass by federal judges soon enough! Yea!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:24pm
  76. NOH8

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:26pm
  77. Might as well pass it in all states since we wont stop fighting

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:27pm
  78. Well, if 3 bigots with a large sign say it, it MUST be true.

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:28pm
  79. 1 bigot + 1 bigot = 2 big idiots

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:29pm
  80. look how old the carriers are. In 2 years they can’t hold the banner anymore……

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:31pm
  81. Ignorant! Love is love!

    Posted on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 4:35pm