But the rulings do leave in place Indiana’s current law, which doesn’t recognize same-sex couples as having the same rights as opposite-sex married couples. And, in doing so, it fuels opponents of same-sex marriage in Indiana who want to put that law into the state constitution.
Long and Bosma angered some social conservative groups in February when they decided to delay a vote on the marriage-ban amendment, known as House Joint Resolution 6, or HJR6. Both Bosma and Long cited the pending cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court as reasons for killing the resolution in the 2013 session, which ended in April.
Supporters of marriage equality were hoping that decision would remain permanent, but are now gearing up for the political fight to come.
“We continue to believe that HJR6 should be abandoned because it runs counter to our core Hoosier values and creates a host of unintended legal consequences,” said Chris Paulsen, head of the Indiana Equality Action.
While Republican Gov. Mike Pence, a social conservative, voiced his support for the marriage-ban amendment on Wednesday, some conservative Republicans in the GOP-controlled General Assembly voiced their doubts about it, citing both the rapidly evolving public opinion on same-sex marriage and the court’s rulings.
Sen. Luke Kenley, the powerful chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee and a critic of the proposed marriage-ban amendment, said some of his GOP colleagues who supported the amendment in the past may now balk.
“I don’t know if it will pass or not,” said Kenley of HJR6. “It seems to me these [court] rulings put another barrier in front of passage.”
Republican Rep. Ed Clere of New Albany, chair of the House Public Health Committee, has opposed the marriage-ban amendment in the past and said he will again.