Sen. Delph wants last-ditch edit to gay-marriage amendment

Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, said Monday that he wants to use a procedural move to try to put a ban on civil unions back into a state constitutional amendment against gay marriage—although he’s not sure the votes are there to approve it.

In a press conference in the Statehouse rotunda Monday morning, Delph said he will vote against the measure if he’s not successful in restoring the original language to the proposed amendment, which included a ban on civil unions.

Without the language on civil unions, Delph said, the proposal does little if anything to legally protect traditional marriage.

“This is my preferred way to bring closure to this entire matter,” Delph said. “Done in November 2014. Once and for all.”

Delph’s comments come four days after the Senate moved the constitutional amendment through its second reading amendment stage without the civil unions ban. The move is expected to delay any public vote on the amendment at least until 2016.

Delph had planned to offer a proposal last week to add the civil unions ban back into the amendment, but he said the Republican caucus decided against the move. Also, Delph acknowledged he didn’t have the votes to make it happen.

Later on Thursday and into the weekend, Delph sent hundreds of messages on Twitter, criticizing the evangelical community for failing to adequately support the constitutional amendment and defending his family against his opponents.

On Monday, he lashed out against Senate President Pro Tem David Long, saying that the Republican leader had promised the measure would go to the ballot for a vote this year. Instead, Delph said, Long made decisions that effectively delayed a public vote on the marriage amendment until at least 2016.

The General Assembly approved the amendment in 2011 with the civil unions ban in tact. It had to be approved again this year to go on the ballot this November.

But the House this year stripped the civil unions ban out of the amendment. If that version is approved by the Senate on Monday, the amendment process will restart.
That means the new version would need to be approved by the General Assembly again in 2015 or 2016 to go on the ballot for ratification.

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