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Same-sex marriage amendment moves to House for vote

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The proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana passed a House committee Wednesday, setting up the floor debate that Speaker Brian Bosma had promised.

The House Elections Committee passed the amendment 9-3 after more than four hours of testimony and debate. It came one day after the Republican leader moved the measure from the Judiciary Committee to the Elections Committee to try to ensure its passage.

It passed on a party-line vote, with one Democrat absent due to a family illness.

House Joint Resolution 3 would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. State law already prevents same-sex couples from marrying, but supporters say an amendment is needed to keep a single judge from overturning the law.

House Bill 1153 – a supplementary bill written to describe the “legislative intent” of HJR 3 – also passed. Both had been bottled up in the Judiciary Committee, where supporters were unable to muster the yes votes needed to pass it.

The move left elections committee members with less than 24 hours to prepare to hear the legislation.

“I’m a bit overwhelmed,” said Rep. John Bartlett, D-Indianapolis. “It’s grossly unfair to the citizens of Indiana.”

Bartlett questioned why the proposals were moved to the Elections Committee. He said both HJR 3 and HB 1153 dealt with legal issues that should have been decided in the Judiciary Committee.

Rep. Milo Smith, R-Columbus – chairman of the Elections Committee – said he thinks the marriage issue should be decided by Hoosiers at the ballot box, and therefore it is also an elections issue.

If the House and Senate pass the amendment this session, it will move to the ballot in November where it could be ratified by voters.

The testimony – which was initially limited to one hour for each side – mirrored the arguments heard in the Judiciary Committee last week.

Representatives from Indiana University, Eli Lilly and Co. and Cummins Inc. all testified that they believe HJR 3 would have negative repercussions on their ability to attract and keep a diverse work force.

The amendment was supported by Curt Smith, president of the Indiana Family Institute, and Ken Klukowski, a law professor at Liberty University, among others.

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  • Huh?
    Mel, If you don't know the rights that are denied same-sex couples in this state, then you haven't been paying attention to the discussion. And where does anyway say that established man/woman marriages will suddenly be invalid? Nobody is suggesting that. Marriage has evolved over the centuries. It has evolved from being an ownership situation and a bargaining/peacemaking tool to being primarily (in theory) about love. Let's keep it moving in that direction instead of using it as a weapon to control others. No gay marriage hurts your marriage. If you are that concerned about traditional marriage, work to outlaw divorce.
  • Food for thought
    Much has been said and a lot of it with anger and resentment. My great grandparents, grandparents and parents were married. I was fortunate to have parents that were loving, taught me things I needed to know. They provided food, clothing, shelter and guidance. As I look back, in many ways I was born with a SILVER spoon in my mouth. Understand that I'm not referring to money. I had a proper environment to grow up in. Personally, I feel "the traditional marriage as it is known" needs to kept as it is. A WATERED DOWN VERSION OF MARRIAGE WILL ONLY FURTHER UNDERMINE WHAT FOR THOUSAND OF YEARS HAS BEEN A TREMENDOUSLY POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP. Those who want change are talk about RIGHTS. What they don't acknowledge is they already have all they same rights as everyone else. ALL OF THE RIGHTS. The have the right to vote, to education, to health care. The have the right of a Fee Simple Estate. To own property in severalty, as joint tenants, tenants in common, joint tenants with the right of suvivorship. They can create Trusts, Wills to pass their Estates to whomever they which. They can enter into contracts or refuse to enter into contracts. They can file suit, be sued. The have the full Bundle of Rights. The can create businesses, in all forms such as partnership, incorporation, limited liabilty companies. Where have they been wronged? Now consider the billions of traditional marriages. What do you tell them? We no longer recognize your marriage. You can NO LONGER can own your property as tenancy by the entireties. We don't need weaker values we need to maintain strong ones. Some would have you believe that keeping marriage as currently defined will wreck employment. I say no more than Y2K shut the world down. Are jobs going to go away because marriage is between a man and a woman. Is Indiana or any other state going to dry up or become a sink hole. Not going to happen. I think keeping the current marriage law it creates a favorable place to work, raise a family, get an eduction, start a business. Seems to me we have a high quality environment as it is.
    • Hate
      How? Please explain how it will benefit my gay daughter?
    • To Democrat
      One more comment. If the amendment were to pass, the state would have to unnecessarily absorb the costs of defending the amendment in the court system. The amendment would go all the way to the Supreme Court, which would declare it unconstitutional just as it has in similar cases. Why let stupidity and bias cost the state funds it doesn't have?
    • Democrat
      Issues like this should never go before the general population because equal rights is GUARANTEED by the US Constitution. If the general population were able to vote on issues like this, there'd still be slavery, a ban on interracial marriages and more junk like that in some states. You seriously don't get that?
    • Vote
      I don't understand why ALL citizens of Indiana would not want the opportunity to decide this issue once and for all at the ballot box. Those against same sex marriage seem to have forgotten that there will be two choices for the vote. The only group I have seen demonstrating either way on this issue are groups opposed to the amendment. Unlike our Federal government, I applaud our law makers for allowing this issue to be decided by the citizens and not in the Statehouse.
    • Shame on Indiana
      This state seems to be bent on being an embarrassment to the US
      • Todays" Starr Has Excellent Letters to the Editor on HJR-3
        P.S. Today's Star has 2 excellent letters to the editor addressing HJR-3. One is signed by a plethora of church leaders. One is from a 62-year-old married father of two. Both letters make excellent points.
      • Bosma Is Deceptive
        Brian Bosma should be called out for the deception he has perpetuated. He first said the amendment was not a priority and would follow the normal legislative course. Of course it has been in the forefront of his agenda and now he using a committee that is loaded with supporters of the amendment and is supposed to deal with the election process to ensure that it passes. This guy is the so called "leader" of the house. I hope voters remember his tactics the next time they go to the ballot box to cast a vote. I know I will and he represents the district I live in.
      • DISGUSTING
        This state, its lawmakers and many of its citizens is a joke. What a complete waste of time and taxpayer money when the Federal government will come in and declare such an amendment a violation of the US Constitution. More lawsuits...more money...all from republicans who think everyone should be like them. LOL...pathetic.
      • Highjacked by the Religous Zealots
        So...."the marriage issue should be decided by Hoosiers at the ballot box, and therefore it is an elections issue". Bull!! You don't have to look very hard at this to understand why so many politicians want this to got to a public referendum. That way, when the voting booths are packed with religious right-wingers that have been brainwashed by their churches pass this issue, they can say "we were just doing what our constituents wanted us to do". Our state officials need to drop the social agenda and focus on job creation and tax relief for individuals [since we taxpayers will have to bear the cost of the referendum].
      • ???
        What did you expect, it's Mitch Daniels! LOL... like he was going to be progressive or something?
      • Regret my ignorance
        I regret my ignorance on this subject but does this have to pass both chambers with a 2/3 majority like amending the United States constitution and then be ratified by the voters or just a simple majority? I do find hope in the fact that he had to committee shop to find a group of sheep to vote the way they are supposed to.
      • Sigh
        It would be nice if Indiana pleasantly surprised me (or anyone else in the nation) occasionally. But not today.
      • Well...
        ... First of all, that Klukowski character was just a big windbag. So much for the time limit he was supposed to have been held to! I could hardly keep from losing my lunch listening to that man spout his nonsense. P.S. Man.... You're a "law professor" at LIBERTY which pretty much puts you just above someone who just passed the bar. You're not at Harvard, get over yourself. If this thing does go to a vote in November, I remain optimistic that common sense and intelligence will win out over bigotry cloaked in religion and we can send a strong message to the rest of the country that Indiana isn't as backwards as our elected officials would make us seem. And if it does come to pass, I look forward to the US Supreme Court striking it - and all other Constitutional Amendments banning same sex marriage - down as quickly as possible!
      • Great Move
        This is good to hear. Mr. Cahen - even IF (and it''s a big if) the Supremes do overturn this after passage , I will still never regret lobbying and voting for it, because it is the quite simply the right thing to do . Indiana will be better for it. This amendment must pass.
        • Same sex marriage amendment
          Well the legislature has taken one more step towards religious bigotry. This amendment and the members of the committee who voted for it are nothing short of repugnant. Indiana will spend millions of taxpayer dollars defending this piece of absolute nonsense and it will be overturned by the Supreme Court. The legislators will regret this vote......
        • Back Door Politicians!
          Nice backwards move Indiana. The residents of this state should be outraged by the lack of vision by their elected politicians. On one hand millions of dollars spent on developing and promoting industries including road transport, education, healthcare, pharmaceutical and also a push towards technology companies. Then the same politicians who think its terrible to buy alcohol on a Sunday go and shuffle this through the back door and discourage businesses and individuals to live in this state. The rest of the world is moving right along....Indiana will be dragging its heels thanks to a few politicians.
        • Purdue
          It's sad that Purdue has not taken a stand on this. What a joke of a university it has become under Mitch Daniels.

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