Tue November 19, 2013
Indiana Lawmakers Hold Organizational Session, Brace for Gay Marriage Battle
Indiana lawmakers convened today for an organizational session in advance of the 2014 General Assembly, which is gearing up for a political fight over gay marriage.
Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma says there are many pressing matters to consider during the short 30-day session, such as Indiana’s high unemployment rate, unmet education needs and road improvements.
But Bosma says the GOP-led legislature will also decide whether to move forward with a proposal to write a same-sex marriage ban into the state constitution.
"From my own personal perspective, and I’ve said this elsewhere, that decision shouldn’t be made in a corporate boardroom, it shouldn’t be made in a judicial chamber, it shouldn’t be made in a university president’s office, and quite frankly, it shouldn’t be made in a single legislative leader’s office as well. It needs to be made by this body, and we will make that decision together," Bosma said in a floor speech.
Democratic leaders in both chambers have called on their Republican colleagues not to pursue the amendment.
"I think if you ask most people in the state of Indiana, they’d say we don’t think you really need to do that. It’s not necessary and there are so many other issues that we’ve just talked about that we really ought to be devoting our time and our efforts to," said Senate Minority Tim Lanane.
Opponents of the amendment include members of the business and higher education communities. They argue that it will paint Indiana as an unfriendly state.
Indiana already has a same-sex marriage ban, but backers want to put it in the constitution to make it more difficult to overturn in court.