Mon January 13, 2014
Indiana Lawmakers Hear Testimony on Proposed Gay Marriage Amendment
Supporters and opponents of a proposal to amend Indiana’s constitution to ban gay marriage testified Monday before a legislative panel.
The House Judiciary Committee heard more than three hours of testimony but did not take a vote.
Committee Chairman Greg Steuerwald said he would give panel members more time to weigh the testimony before calling for a vote.
The amendment would ban gay marriage and anything “similar” to gay marriage. There’s disagreement over whether it would also bar certain benefits for same-sex couples.
Amendment supporter Ryan Anderson of the Heritage Foundation says it would not, and those concerns are addressed in a companion bill.
"When I get sick, I need someone to visit me in the hospital. When I die, I need someone to inherit my wealth. That situation is not unique to a same-sex couple. That is a situation that matters for all of us, and so we need not redefine marriage to craft policy that will serve all citizens," he said.
Opponents include companies like Cummins, which employs about 8,000 people in Indiana.
Vice-President Maria Rose says the proposal sends the wrong message to potential employees.
"We will be reluctant to continue to add jobs in Indiana if our state is a less welcoming and inclusive place for all of our employees," Rose told the panel.
If the measure clears the Republican-led General Assembly, the matter would be put to voters in November.