News (USA)

Ind. committee chair kicks gay rights activist out of marriage hearing

Ind. committee chair kicks gay rights activist out of marriage hearing

INDIANAPOLIS — The chairman of the House Elections Committee has expelled an opponent of the proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage from a second House hearing on the measure.

Milo Smith
Milo Smith

Rep. Milo Smith looked up to the House gallery during Wednesday’s hearing and asked Statehouse police to remove a man who had waved a thumbs-down sign after Smith asked the crowd to keep quiet.

The House hearings on a proposed marriage ban have been largely orderly, but opponents of the ban erupted into laughter during testimony Wednesday from the Family Research Council’s Ken Klukowski.

After Klukowski argued national trends could lead toward the legalization of polygamy in some states, a Democratic lawmaker asked if the committee should vote on banning polygamy as well.

Opponents of the ban showed up in force for the Wednesday afternoon hearing wearing red shirts to signal their opposition to the proposed constitutional amendment.

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Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma announced Tuesday that he was moving the proposed ban and a companion measure to the House Elections Committee at the request of GOP lawmakers who wanted to vote on the issue. The measure stalled in the House Judiciary Committee last week amid concerns from a few Republican committee members.

Legislators approved the proposed amendment with broad bipartisan majorities in 2011. But a shift in public attitudes combined with a strong campaign by opponents has spurred apprehension among many lawmakers.

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