Ind. Senate Leader Panel to Vet Same-Sex Marriage Proposal
The proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage will take a slightly different course through the Indiana Senate than expected: Senate President Pro Tem David Long says it will be vetted by the committee that includes the chamber’s top Republicans and Democrats.
Long said last week that the Senate Judiciary Committee would evaluate the measure, but then announced on Thursday that it will be vetted by the Senate Rules Committee instead. Any effort to alter the proposed ban, though, would have to play out before the full Senate, he said.
"I’d like to see a clean bill come to the floor of the Senate," said Long, who chairs the Senate Rules Committee. "I will say that once it comes to the floor, any and all amendments are going to be considered and available. There will be no attempt to block anything. There will be a full and robust discussion."
Long hinted at some apprehension with the so-called "second sentence" in the proposed amendment that would have prevented any future approval of civil unions. House lawmakers removed that from the proposal earlier this week.
The second part of the measure has quickly become a sticking point for many lawmakers who otherwise support placing the state’s existing gay marriage ban in the state constitution. But simply stripping that section from the ban would effectively restart the clock on the state’s lengthy constitutional amendment process, pushing a public referendum on the issue back to at least 2016.
Supporters of the proposed ban - House Joint Resolution 3 - cried foul this week when close to two dozen Republicans joined with 29 House Democrats to strip the civil union ban.
One of the potentially strongest voices in the debate, Republican Gov. Mike Pence, has been indecisive.