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Indiana House passes revised gay-marriage ban

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The Indiana House of Representatives approved a proposal Tuesday that would place the state's gay marriage ban in the state constitution, while leaving the door open to eventual approval of civil unions.

The proposed ban, which cleared the chamber on 57-40 vote, now heads to the Indiana Senate, where members of the Senate Judiciary Committee are set to take up the issue. Voting yes were 57 Republicans. Voting no were 11 Republicans and 29 Democrats.

The vote followed weeks of uncertainty for a measure that swept through the General Assembly with ease just three years ago.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma worked hard to shepherd the ban through the start of the session. But he washed his hands of the measure Monday night, shortly after members of his own caucus joined with House Democrats to change it.

House lawmakers removed a sentence in the proposed ban that would have banned civil unions and potentially barred employers from providing benefits to same-sex employees. Republicans who joined with House Democrats to alter the measure expressed concerns that the ban went too far by barring future approval of civil unions.

However, that alteration potentially pushes back the soonest the measure could go before voters to November 2016. Indiana's constitutional amendment process requires the same measure be approved in two consecutive two-year sessions of the General Assembly then be placed on the ballot for consideration by voters.

But legislative attorneys counselled Republican leaders that altering the language of the ban would likely require lawmakers to give it a second approval when they convene their next two-year session.

The question could easily become moot, however, depending on what the Senate does. Senators have the ability to amend the measure back to its original form. If senators restore the measure to its original form, they could set the ban back on track for an appearance on November's ballot.

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  • TMI
    Marriage belongs to GOD whether anyone likes it or not. If we expect help from Him, are we not setting ourselves up for failure for approving what He has not? I don't hate anyone but I really DON'T want to know what a persons private sexual life consists of or which sex that person prefers. Prime example of TMI.
  • Shame
    What a shame to have such a backward state be part of the American union. The state is no better then Russia and parts of the middle-east that abridge and or eradicate basic human rights. I am so glad to be miles and miles away in California from a state that can't even give it's own citizens a basic right to be happy. This action goes against everything the 14th amendment expounds. Indiana was never part of any discussions in the lives of many Americans due to it being a republican run state and now it will be talk of negative actions-- in my vocabulary this state is NONEXISTENT.
  • Something Wicked and Wrong
    There is something fundamentally wrong about a legislature convening like grade school thugs to discuss who they are going to beat up in their own state because they are different from themselves ( on conversely, there is a great deal of discomfort due to the fact that the debate is getting a bit too close to home. ) To have the Indiana congress spending valuable time debating, deliberating and voting on a legislation that will assuredly be found unconstitutional, and to be last in the United States to do this before all of these irrational amendments are found unconstitutional, seems to make Indiana the new Mississippi. How embarrassing for the citizens of your state. This before the judge arrives to town. Shame on them
  • If the voters reject
    If the bill passes the house and the senate but the voters reject the amendment at the voting booth is the bill dead or does it go back to the legislature
  • How many, Gus?
    Just confirms, you can't count on people who are preoccupied with counting and come to decisions by whatever someone else does. Your numbers are wrong too.
  • 100% incompetents
    Thx, Jim. I did not mean J, though; I was referring to those who elect candidates in the spring, only to see them defeated in the fall. Indiana had a first rate, world class statesman in Senator Richard Lugar. Of course, right wing nutcases hated him because, among other things, he wasn't "pure enough." It could be argued that those who vote only in the general election and not in the primary are enablers of the idiocy we currently have. Almost makes the case for IQ tests, both of the candidates and the electorate.
  • Correction for Gus
    Seventeen states - CA, CT, DE, HI, IA, IL, ME, MD, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NM, NY, RI, VT, and WA - plus Washington, D.C. have the freedom to marry for same-sex couples. In UT, a a federal judge has issued a ruling establishing the freedom to marry, and the decision is now stayed pending consideration by the appellate court. Three states offer broad protections short of marriage. CO allows civil union, while OR and NV offer broad domestic partnership. WI has more limited domestic partnership. Over 38% of the U.S. population lives in a state that either has the freedom to marry or honors out-of-state marriages of same-sex couples. Over 41% of the U.S. population lives in a state with either marriage or a broad legal status such as civil union or domestic partnership. Over 43% of the U.S. population lives in a state that provides some form of protections for gay couples.
  • 100% Incompetent Fools
    Dear z...loved your shibboleths comment yesterday by the way...J says he just moved here, so I guess he didn't vote for any of them...must have been Rick and Mal...
    • Confirmation
      I see many comments about how Indiana is backwards and how Indiana is the laughing stock regarding this issue, but then I read that Indiana and 32 other states ban gay marriage and only 11 states support gay marriage.
      • idiots
        "They are 100% incompetent fools!" Yes, but who put them there?
        • AlanB
          If the senate reinserts the second line and passes it, then it would go back to the house for another vote.
        • Senate's role
          How does it work that if the Senate changes the amendment back to its original language that this would go before voters in November? The Senate would essentially be passing something different than the house.
          • What is the reasoning?
            What is the reasoning behind this effort? I am just curious what rational they have given. Somebody who actually listens to politicians would know I am sure.
          • Coming to Indiana
            No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws - Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
          • Moved here
            Having recently relocated to Indiana, I can tell you that Indiana legislators are the laughing stock of the country. People told me before I moved, but I though "it can't be that bad". Well guess what - I have never been more wrong. They are 100% incompetent fools!
            • For Pete's sake
              Will someone tell the legislature that the horse is dead, so they can feel free to stop beating it? We get it, you think gay people are icky. Understood. Move on.
            • Middle Ages
              And Indiana charges backward into the middle ages and beyond. Considering this and adding the way we plow snow (not), why would anyone (like the Super Bowl) consider this state.

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            1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

            2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

            3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

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            5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

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