Tue January 28, 2014
Altered Gay Marriage Ban Amendment Clears Indiana House
A proposal to place a ban on gay marriage in the Indiana constitution has been approved by the state House of Representatives.
The altered measure leaves the door open for civil unions and employer benefits for same-sex couples.
Lawmakers in the Republican-led House passed the proposal 57-40 after removing language that would ban recognition of anything “similar” to same-sex marriage.
That change would also lengthen the process of amending the state constitution, but the clause could be reinserted by Senate Republicans.
Measure sponsor Rep. Eric Turner disputes claims by opponents that the ban would hurt economic development.
"In 2013, eight of the top nine states with the highest rate of private sector job growth had constitutional amendments on marriage," Turner said in a floor speech.
House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath called for the proposal’s defeat, pointing to growing public support for gay marriage.
"And let’s for once, Mr. Speaker, accept the fact that we’re changing. And when we change it’s not the end of the world," Pelath said.
The measure now goes to the Senate Judiciary Committee for consideration.