Marriage Amendment Passes Ind. House Committee
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – A marriage amendment is one vote closer to appearing on the November ballot in Indiana.
House Joint Resolution 3 – the proposed constitutional amendment that would define marriage in Indiana as one man and one woman, in additional to limiting same- and opposite-sex civil unions and domestic partnerships – passed the House Elections and Apportionment Committee on a 9-3 vote Wednesday evening.
The amendment now heads to the House floor. A second reading of HJR 3 in the full House could occur as soon as Thursday, with a third reading and vote next week.
House Speaker Brian Bosma received criticism from HJR 3 opponents when Tuesday he reassigned the bill to the elections committee from the House Judiciary Committee when it appeared it was going to be voted down. The vote occurred less than a day after the reassignment.
Unlike the judiciary committee where the chairman gave members time to consider the arguments they heard, the new panel’s vote came immediately after a marathon four-hours of testimony from those for and against HJR 3.
The House chamber’s gallery was filled mostly with HJR 3 opponents, as was the hall outside the chamber.
“Marriage is not about adult desires and I don’t think this legislature or any legislature in the country wants to get in the business of licensing adult relationships,” said Curt Smith from the Indiana Family Institute, and organization pushing for the amendment’s passage.
State Rep. Kreg Battles (D-Vincennes) says passing the marriage amendment will lead to never ending court battles.
“(Marriage only between a man and a woman) is state law right now. If we don’t do a thing it is already state law,” Battles told the committee.
Anti-HJR3 political action committee Freedom Indiana says it will continue to fight the amendment for as long as it takes.
“We’re disappointed, but we’re more disappointed in the jury-rigged process than the outcome today. The traditional legislative path for this divisive amendment was completely upended when Speaker Bosma decided he had to switch committees to shore up enough Republican votes to move it to the floor,” said Freedom Indiana campaign manager Megan Robertson.