With Proposed Indiana Marriage Ban Comes Companion Bill
INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana’s legislative leaders are trying a different approach in again proposing a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, announced last week that lawmakers would consider the proposed amendment, unchanged from what the General Assembly first passed in 2011. If approved a second time, it would go to a public vote in November. But it first must clear the House Judiciary Committee, which is scheduled to take up the issue Monday morning.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, delayed his involvement when he announced the House would have to take up the issue first. (The success of the amendment in the Indiana House is hardly guaranteed.) So, Bosma made the first move, but instead of simply submitting the amendment, he added that lawmakers would look at a companion bill clarifying the meaning of the second sentence in the amendment.
The first sentence of the proposal limits marriage to being between one man and one woman. But the second sentence - expanding that ban to anything similar to marriage, most likely meant to address civil unions - has roiled many lawmakers, including some who voted for the amendment in 2011.
"I think it’s very advisable to have an expression of legislative intent that accompanies HJR 3 (the proposed amendment)," Bosma said last week. "There are valid questions raised about the second sentence of the amendment.
"It seemed to make a lot of sense to address the issues, but still make it quite clear that civil unions are not allowed - which is the substantially similar or identical language to marriage - and define it as a man and a woman, but remove these concerns people validly are raising in most cases."