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Indiana Senate Approves Constitutional Ban on Gay Marriage, But Delays Referendum Till at Least 2016

As expected, Indiana's Senate yesterday passed HJR3, the constitional ban on same-sex marriage by a final 32-17 vote. But because it also failed to reinsert language struck by the House, the three-step process of approving the measure must begin all over again next year.

Voters will not see the amendment on the ballot until 2016, maybe never.

InsenateThe Indy Star reports:

The vote came after the Senate declined Thursday to restore the amendment's second sentence, which also would have banned civil unions and similar arrangements. Instead, the General Assembly must approve the ban again in 2015 or 2016 before a public referendum could happen in November 2016.

Some conservatives who had fought for the constitutional ban for years weren't all that happy with its passage because it didn't include original language.

The process, which was supposed to be a piece of cake for anti-gay conservatives, did not go smoothly, and the discomfort shown by some is a reflection of the changing shift in attitudes in the country overall, the NYT reports:

“You start to get the feeling a lot of people in the legislature just don’t want to deal with this again — don’t have the appetite,” said Megan Robertson, campaign manager for Freedom Indiana, an anti-amendment group supported by business interests like Eli Lilly and Company and Cummins. “We wanted to defeat this thing outright of course, but getting it pushed down the road is a huge victory.” ...

“With the way things are changing, with all the court cases, one after another, there’s a good chance that we never even reach 2016 without the Supreme Court having weighed in on this issue,” said Sarah Warbelow, the state legislative director of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights group.

Advocates of the amendment said they were surprised by what had transpired in Indiana. “The decision to dilute and delay the marriage amendment and deprive voters of the chance to consider it this year is very disappointing,” said Curt Smith, president of the Indiana Family Institute, which pushed for the amendment. “I expected it to go forward,” he added, “and I expected to have a vote this year.”

Indiana Senator with Gay Brother Will Make Last Ditch Attempt to Pass Same-Sex Marriage Ban: VIDEO


Indiana State Senator Mike Delph (R-Carmel), who had a meltdown on social media last week after the Senate failed to reinsert language that would get the state's gay marriage ban to voters this year, held a press conference on Monday morning:

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.”

Watch the press conference, AFTER THE JUMP...

The Indiana Senate is preparing for a final vote on the measure. Because the House struck language that would have banned any legal relationship that is "identical or substantially similar" to marriage is restored (and then sent back to the House and reapproved this session), the Senate would have had to reinsert the language and have the House pass it again to have it sent to voters this year. They chose not to do so in a first vote last week.

2_delphDelph's Twitter meltdown following last week's vote prompted reporters to question him about his behavior, the Indy Channel reports:

...a reporter asked Delph, "Had you been drinking or using drugs during your Twitter barrage?”

Delph did not take the question lightly.

“What kind of question is that? That is just asinine. I’d been drinking tea… and that’s… are you trying to make news? That’s an offensive, asinine question. And you know, that is indicative - that type of idiotic question is indicative of the public’s frustration with the media, who is supposed to report news, not make news. So I’m not even going to respond to that anymore. That’s ridiculous," Delph said. He then turned to the room for more questions, "Yeah -- anybody else?”

Crickets greeted the question.

And perhaps the weirdest thing about Delph's intensity interest in a gay marriage ban is the fact that he has a gay brother.

Brother_delphThe Indy Star reports:

Stephen Delph said his brother has seen him win pageant titles in drag and has met his boyfriends. Once, Mike Delph even tried to set him up with a gay friend, Stephen said.

"During his swearing in, I'm down there with makeup and long hair and Ralph Lauren turtle neck, meeting everyone and he had no problem with that," Stephen said. "He knows I'm artistic and different and he has no problems with that at all....Never once has he called me evil or an abomination. He's never told me I'm un-Christian-like."

In fact, his younger brother stuck up for him after Stephen came out as a 13-year-old student in Carmel-Clay schools.

"He got in fights to defend me," Stephen said.

Watch the press conference and an interview with Senator Delph's brother Stephen, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Indiana Senator with Gay Brother Will Make Last Ditch Attempt to Pass Same-Sex Marriage Ban: VIDEO" »

Indiana Senate Rules Committee Advances Gay Marriage Ban in 8-4 Vote

The Indiana Senate Rules Committee this afternoon voted 8-4 to advance a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, the Indianapolis Star reports:

IndianasenateThe 12-member Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee voted 8-4 along party lines to send the measure, known as House Joint Resolution 3, to the full Senate, probably later this week. All eight Republicans voted for the measure, and all four Democrats voted against.

The decision came with no discussion by committee members about whether to restore the amendment’s second sentence, which would also ban civil unions and similar arrangements. The House removed that provision before sending the amendment to the Senate.

Instead, the Senate will likely take up the question of whether to restore the second sentence when the measure comes up for second reading before the full 50-member Senate. That could happen as early as Thursday.

Watch LIVE: Indiana Senate Rules Committee Hearing on Gay Marriage Ban


The Indiana Senate Rules Committee has begun consideration on the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

Unless language struck by the House that also banned any legal relationship that is "identical or substantially similar" to marriage is restored (and then sent back to the House and reapproved this session), the measure will NOT go to voters this year and must start the process of going through the legislature all over again.

Anti-gay Republican governor Mike Pence last week urged lawmakers to reinsert the language and send the measure to voters this year.

Watch the live feed HERE.

Indiana Governor Pushes Lawmakers to Send Gay Marriage Ban to Voters This Year: VIDEO


Indiana Governor Mike Pence knows that because a sentence banning civil unions was struck by the House from the language of HJR3 last week, the bill, which would constitutionally ban same-sex marriage, will need to start its process over unless the Senate replaces the sentence. A rewritten amendment would need to pass two separately-elected General Assemblies before going to voters.

So now Pence is speaking to news media pleading with lawmakers to replace the sentence, WISH-TV reports.

Said Pence: “Let me say I support traditional marriage, and I expressed support for the resolution that the legislature passed during the last session and considered at the outset of this session.”


The Senate is expected to consider the bill around February 10.

Continue reading "Indiana Governor Pushes Lawmakers to Send Gay Marriage Ban to Voters This Year: VIDEO" »

Bill to Ban Gay Marriage in Indiana Moves to Senate

The Indiana bill constitutionally banning gay marriage, HJR3, has been assigned to a Senate committee by Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, the Indy Star reports:

LongThe constitutional amendment, known as House Joint Resolution 3, will now go to the Senate Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee rather than the Judiciary Committee, which is where Long said he planned to send it last week.

Long said he changed his mind after giving the decision more thought, noting that the larger, 12-member rules committee includes top legislative leaders from both parties. Long also is chairman of the committee, which will give him stronger control over the debate. The committee hearing is likely to happen during the week of Feb. 10, he said.

Long, R-Fort Wayne, also said he preferred that any changes to the House version of the resolution be offered on the full Senate floor rather than in committee. Long said he expects the measure to pass out of committee.


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