Monday, February 17, 2014

House Approved Version of HJR-3 Passes Senate Keeping It Off Ballot Until 2016

HJR-3 passed the Indiana Senate, 32-17.  It passed as the version that went through the Indiana House.

The version that passed reads, "Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana."

The same version of the resolution will have to pass both houses of the General Assembly in 2015 or 2016 to appear on the ballot at the next statewide election.  That will be 2016 when President, Governor, Congress, and Dan Coats' seat in the U.S. Senate all appear on the ballot along with many of the Senators and Representatives that voted either for or against the bill.  If the General Assembly approves the same resolution again in 2015 or 2016, and the voters give it a majority vote, then that discriminatory language is added to the Indiana Constitution.

This time around, after all his bluster, Mike Delph couldn't restore the second sentence of the proposed amendment which would have outlawed civil unions and maybe domestic partnerships.  He grandstanded at a press conference earlier today only to announce he would vote no if the second sentence was not restored.   It wasn't, and he was one of five Republicans (Ron Alting, Vaneta Becker, Phil Boots, Delph, and Pete Miller) voting no on the resolution.  Senator Richard Young was the only Democrat to vote for the resolution.  The ailing Sue Landske was excused from voting.

So, the battle begins again.  HJR-3 must be defeated, buried, and done for once and for all next year or when it comes up again.  This is only a temporary victory, and those that fought hard for this temporary win should be heartily congratulated.  

This only momentarily kicks the can down the road.  The battle for civil rights in Indiana for same sex couples continues. 

It's sure to get nastier next time.

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