Mon December 31, 2012
Indiana Lawmakers May Take Up Gay Marriage Amendment in 2013
When it convenes next week, the Indiana General Assembly could take the next step toward amending the state Constitution to ban gay marriage.
An amendment defining marriage as being the union of a man and a woman that would also prohibit civil unions between same-sex couples passed the 2011 legislature, but must also be approved this year or next in order for it to be presented to Indiana voters.
Indiana already has a state law banning gay marriage but amendment supporters say it needs to be codified by voters to make it more difficult for the courts to overturn.
Earlier this month, research conducted by the Indiana University Maurer School of Law’s LGBT Project found that there are 614 laws in Indiana based on marital status that could be affected by the ban.
Law student Donald Bierer says they include laws intended to protect the public from conflicts of interest such as nepotism.
"The reasons for that are obvious, right? But if you happen to be in a same-sex relationship and be in that position in theory you could hire your partner. So in that way there are a lot of provisions of the law that we don’t talk about when we’re talking about gay marriage that are actually for the protection of everyone else," Bierer said.
Some key Republicans in the GOP-led legislature have recently backed off their support for an amendment, citing the effect it could have on the state’s economy.
Some companies have said they oppose such a measure because it would discourage talented workers from taking jobs in Indiana.
Polls of Hoosiers on the issue have been split.