INDIANAPOLIS – A call by Democratic leaders in the Statehouse for their Republican counterparts to pull the controversial same-sex marriage ban amendment off the legislative table was turned back during Tuesday during an organizational session in advance of the 2014 session.
Early Tuesday, House Minority Leader Scott Pelath and Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane said GOP leaders should stop House Joint Resolution 6 in its tracks by refusing to assign the measure to a committee when the General Assembly convenes in early January.
Pelath said Republicans, who have a super-majority in the legislature, should be working to address critical issues such as the state’s unemployment rate which has been stuck around 8 percent.
“Unfortunately, what is already dominating the 2014 session is this ugly and divisive debate on marriage equality. It has to stop, and it has to stop today,” Pelath said.
But both House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President David Long said the proposed amendment will go forward, with Long predicting that it will pass the House before arriving in the Senate later in the session.
“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,” said Bosma during a speech on the House floor Tuesday. “It needs to be made by this body, and we will make that decision together.”
Both Republican leaders said there may be an effort to rewrite the language of the amendment to exclude its prohibition on civil unions. Currently, House Joint Resolution 6 includes the state’s current ban on same-sex marriage and expands the ban to prevent future legislatures from enacting laws that would allow legal protections for unmarried couples in civil unions or domestic partnerships.