Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Indiana States House Passes Anti-Gay Marriage Ballot Measure

It has long been thought inevitable that Indiana would vote on (and presumably pass) a state constitutional amendment to ban the legalization and recognition of same-sex marriage in 2014. However, in order for the voters to get the ballot measure, it has to pass the legislature in two consecutive legislative sessions, in identical form.

The bill has already passed the state legislature once, but last summer a coalition called Freedom Indiana was created to stop the passage of the measure that would discriminate against Indiana's families headed by same-sex couples.

The full text of the measure, which is known as "House Joint Resolution 3" (HJR-3), is:
“Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana.
“A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”
The bad news from Indiana today is that the measure passed the state House by a vote of 57-40 on Tuesday. However, the good news is that the second sentence has been removed. This is good news because the second sentence is really just evil since it also purports to ban civil unions or domestic partnerships in addition to excluding same-sex couples from civil marriage. This is also good news because if the Senate passes the amended measure as well then there is no way that the measure could go to the voters in 2014, instead the same measure would have to pass in the next legislative session and then it could go to voters in 2016.

The State Senate could pass the original measure anyway and force a conference committee between two chambers which would then have to accept the original version and that version would have to pass both houses in order for the measure to go before voters this year.

Since popular opinion is evolving in the direction of support for marriage equality, the more delay there is in voters seeing an anti-gay marriage amendment the greater likelihood the measure can be defeated in the future.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin