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Indiana House Sends Marriage Ban to Senate

Jim Burroway

January 29th, 2014

The Indiana House of Representatives yesterday gave its final approval to a bill that would place a proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage before the state’s voters. The 57-40 vote sends the measure on to the Senate.

The move comes a day after the House amended the marriage ban by removing a sentence that would also ban any “legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals,” which would also ban civil unions and domestic partnerships. Indiana’s constitution requires that the identical language must pass two separately elected General Assemblies before a proposal can be placed on the ballot. The prior General Assembly passed the ban with the second sentence included in 2011.

The bill now goes to the state Senate, which is expected to take up the measure next week. If the Senate approves the measure with the second sentence removed, then the next General Assembly will also have to approve the identical language before it can be placed before the voters. Under that scenario, the earliest that it could be placed on the ballot would be 2016, which would coincide with a presidential and gubernatorial election.

But anti-gay activists are now pressuring the Senate to restore the proposal to its original form. If it does so, the bill would then go to conference committee between the two Houses. If the second sentence survives the conference negotiations and is approved by the House, then the measure will appear on the 2014 ballot for the mid-term elections.

Comments

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Richard Rush
January 29th, 2014 | LINK

So, the question to be resolved isn’t IF they hate us, it’s whether they hate us a lot or just somewhat.

Mark F.
January 29th, 2014 | LINK

I doubt they will restore the original language in the Senate. If they do, I doubt it will be restored in the conference and passed again. Most likely the Senate passes the new House version and kicks the issue down the road.

Nathaniel
January 30th, 2014 | LINK

That would be a good strategy for Republicans: “kick it down the road” to a point after SCOTUS is likely to have ruled such bans as unconstitutional. Then the Republicans get to return to their base and say “We tried, but it is time to move on.” And since they won’t have to deal with matters of LGBT equality (at least from a bigot’s limited perspective), they can hope to appear more inclusive AND more anti-gay without contradicting themselves.

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