Marriage Debate Takes Twist at StatehousePosted: Updated:
The Indiana House could vote as early as today on a revised version of a proposed constitutional amendment to further define marriage. Members decided yesterday to remove a controversial sentence that could have banned civil unions or eliminated domestic partner benefits. Despite the move, the Indiana Senate could attempt to restore the language and force another vote in the House. If both chambers pass the revised proposal, the same sex marriage issue would not go to a referendum until November 2016 at the earliest. Our partners at 21Alive WPTA in Fort Wayne report the move in the House could bring the process back to square one. It passed Monday in the House by a 52-43 vote.
You can view a current version of HJR-3 by clicking here.
The vote results on the amendment to remove the second sentence can be viewed by clicking here.
Freedom Indiana, a group formed in opposition of HJR-3, lauded the removal of what it calls a "deeply flawed" and "dangerous" sentence.
Sources: Inside INdiana Business, Indiana General Assembly
January 27, 2014
Statement from Freedom Indiana on removal of second sentence from divisive marriage amendment
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Freedom Indiana campaign manager Megan Robertson issued this statement following tonight's 52-43 vote on the Indiana House floor to remove the second sentence of HJR-3, the divisive marriage amendment that would duplicate existing state law and permanently destroy legal protections for same-sex couples and their families.
The second sentence would prohibit civil unions, domestic partnerships and endanger health benefits, hospital visitation, human rights ordinances, and other legal protections currently available to same-sex couples in Indiana.
Today's vote comes after House Speaker Brian Bosma unilaterally moved the amendment from one committee to another last week to ensure its passage.
"Stripping the deeply flawed second sentence makes a bad amendment better, but we believe this amendment, in any form, has no place in our state's founding document.
"Still, we are incredibly grateful to lawmakers for removing this dangerous language from the amendment and standing up for gay and lesbian Hoosiers and their families. Today is a victory for the thousands of Hoosiers across our state who've shared their stories at the Statehouse and made it clear that HJR-3 does not reflect our shared values."
"We will continue to work hard to make sure the amendment stays off the November ballot. That's not the place to have this conversation, and it never will be."
Freedom Indiana is a bipartisan statewide organization that champions liberty for all Hoosiers. The organization is opposed to an amendment that would permanently alter the Indiana Constitution to define marriage and could potentially affect hundreds of protections related to marriage under current Indiana law. Freedom Indiana launched in August 2013.
Source: Freedom Indiana