The Indiana state Senate on Tuesday approved a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban both gay marriage as well as civil unions.
According to the bill, “only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”
The second sentence effectively would ban legislators from enacting civil unions in the future.
Democratic Sen. Tim Lanane of Anderson argued that attitudes toward same-sex marriages are rapidly changing and the amendment would make it difficult for future changes in state law.
Current state law prohibits gay marriages. Amendment sponsor Sen. Dennis Kruse of Auburn says the measure would provide maximum protection for the basic family unit of society.
Indiana Republican legislators are worried that the same thing will happen in their state as it did in Iowa, where in 2009, the state Supreme Court overturned the law banning same-sex marriage.
The Senate vote was 40-10. The Indiana House has already approved the measure.
The good news is that Indiana law requires that the General Assembly passes the measure again in 2013 or 2014, and then approved by voters (in 2014) before the state constitution can be amended.
Indiana has two years to get the right people in office.