Indiana House Deals Blow to Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment by Striking Sentence Forbidding Similar Unions


The Indiana House voted 52-43 to approve an amendment striking the second sentence of HJR 3, the amendment to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage.

VoteThe second sentence prohibited any legal relationship that is "identical or substantially similar" to marriage.

Freedom Indiana tweets that "With the removal of the 2nd sentence, #HJR3 will likely NOT go to the ballot in November. This is a huge win for freedom & liberty!"

NUVO reported yesterday:

An amendment to HJR 3 means the constitutional amendment process would likely restart. That could postpone a possible ratification by voters from this fall to 2016.

The Indy Star adds:

If the General Assembly approves the measure as amended, civil unions would not be explicitly banned and the proposed constitutional amendment would not go to voters this November.

Rep. Randy Truitt, a West Lafayette Republican, proposed the amendment. He got support from Democrats and some GOP members, including some who voted in favor of the amendment in 2011.

So, from the way things look, this may send the whole measure back to the starting line.



  1. john patrick says

    If it’s starting back over again, that’s good news. By the time it would go to the voters, it might be a moot point with how fast things are going these days.

  2. MiddleoftheRoader says

    About 70% of the Indiana House is Republican. So on this one, even many Republicans are starting to worry about how the marriage issue will play out. Most major cities in Indiana, many universities, and just today the Indianapolis Bar Association have come out strongly against the amendment. This is not to say that they won’t still ban “marriage” in 2016, but if the Indiana legislature is backing off this issue, that’s huge.

  3. woodroad34 says

    What is troubling is that despite all the positive turnarounds for gay marriage, legislatures still think they can get away with these unfair laws. They’re behaving like adolescent little girls stamping their feet and proclaiming that they’ll do what they want to do. Who can have any kind of respect for people like them?

  4. Icebloo says

    Just how much taxpayer money have Republicans wasted on this ? I think they should have to repay all of it from their own bank accounts.

    Republicans are evil, corrupt and disgusting.

  5. ChicagoMike says

    Politicians playing politics and trying to buy themselves time. And hoping the courts make it all go away. They are losing the battle, and they know it, but hate still revs up the base.

  6. Dan says

    Wow!! This is a big deal. Indiana passed the amendment initially with huge majorities. That they felt the need to delete the civil unions ban over the opposition of the Christian right shows you how things have shifted.

    Getting rid of the civil unions ban very likely pushes this to 2016, which is much better for us. However, it also makes the amendment easier to accept by the voters, since it would “only” deprive gay people of marriage.

  7. Bingo says

    1. Adolescent girls? WTF

    2. It means not spending money and energy on opposing this thing in 2014. Other battles instead. 2016 is too far away for now. But two extra years for polls to keep moving in our direction is huge.

  8. Francis says

    Republicans said they feared lawsuits and expensive legal challenges, on top of the fact, that although constituents support “traditional marriage” they felt banning civil unions was overreach.

    It is huge news. From 70-26 for to 52-43 against in three years.

  9. says

    NOM & AFA & Alliance were all calling Indiana their ‘turning point’. It was a turning point. Just not what they expected.

    When enough Republicans find themselves asking ‘have we no shame?’ and are finally too galled to sign onto legislation clearly meant to be punitive to their LGBT family & neighbors then you have met your Waterloo.

  10. Francis says

    Well, it’s not like these Republicans, and some Dems too, are actually for marriage equality. But eliminating civil unions too simply is too much for pretty much anyone who doesn’t outright hate gay people in this day and age. The bill isn’t dead, though. There are some options on the table for Pence, Bosma, Turner and others who are desperate to pass this legislation.

  11. MiddleoftheRoader says

    The Senate could try to pass the bill as it was originally before it was amended — and then send it back to the House. But several House members would have to change their votes and that would look really really bad if they caved in to pressure from the Governor and Speaker. Obviously they felt enough pressure from constituents, universities, businesses (Eli Lily & Cummins), and local lawyer associations so that they “bucked” the Governor and Speaker. If they cave in now they will be blasted.

    So yes it’s possible the Governor and Speaker have some tricks up their sleazy sleeves, but hopefully that won’t happen.

  12. Keith says

    How have constitutional legal experts responded to this development? I would be interested in hearing from some scholars and lawyers who can interpret this parliamentary vote, and what its ultimate ramifications may be should the amendment ultimately pass by voters and ban the word “marriage” for same-sex couples. Is it really a turning point in the debate for equality, or just a smokescreen that will still ultimately deprive Indiana LGBT couples of all the federal benefits and rights afforded to couples in full-equality states?

  13. Hawthorne says

    Does any legal expert out there know if a state can within their borders ban the granting of federal benefits? For the sake of argument, assume the federal government grants full recognition of LGBT marriages nationwide, and all LGBT married couples receive federal benefits regardless of their state of residence. In this situation, can a state say, essentially, “No, not here”? Or, do federal benefits and rights always trump whatever a state says or legislates?

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