INDIANAPOLIS, January 28, 2014 (LifeSiteNews.com) – In a startling rebuke to those who say gay “marriage” is inevitable, the Indiana House of Representatives has approved a constitutional amendment protecting marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Representatives passed House Joint Resolution 3 by a wide margin, 57-40.
Eleven Republicans joined 29 Democrats in voting against the motion.
If the amendment passes the state Senate, Indiana voters will decide its fate in a statewide referendum.
That vote may be delayed, since legislators changed the formal wording by deleting a sentence that also barred state recognition of same-sex civil unions. The U.S. Supreme Court cited the existence of civil unions as part of its reasoning in allowing a lower judge's ruling striking down California's state constitutional marriage protection amendment.
The new wording would require another General Assembly vote, meaning it would not be on the ballot until November 2016. However, if the state Senate restores the previous wording, voters would weigh in this November.
The concept of a vote outraged some. Rep. Matthew Pierce, a Bloomington Democrat, likened the pending referendum to German citizens voting on Jewish rights on the eve of the Holocaust.
“We shirk our responsibility when we say, let’s just let the people decide,” he said.
Indiana University has formally opposed the marriage protection amendment to the state constitution. The Bloomington-based university joined the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, Eli Lilly and Company, and Cummins Inc., as well as a coalition of mayors from the state's larger urban areas.
A coalition of homosexual activists who support redefining marriage said they were “disappointed that this harmful amendment cleared the House,” but they “certainly are not deterred.” Mary Cheney, the openly lesbian daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, held a fundraiser for the coalition late last year.
The Senate Judiciary Committee will now take up the bill. “The Senate should restore the removed statement” about civil unions “when given the opportunity,” said National Organization for Marriage President Brian Brown. “Without this statement, the proposed amendment is left significantly more vulnerable to future attacks by the judiciary, as has happened in other states.”
Polls have produced conflicting results, some showing a majority of Hoosiers supporting the amendment, others the opposite.
The roll call is as follows:
Arnold, Bacon, Baird, Behning, Beumer, Bosma, T. Brown, Burton, Carbaugh, Cherry, Cox, Culver, Dermody, DeVon, Friend, Frizzell, Frye, Gutwein, Hamm, Harman, Heaton, Karickhoff, Koch, Lehe, Lehman, Leonard, Lucas, Lutz, Mahan, Mayfield, McMillin, McNamara, Messmer, Morrison, Morris, Neese, Negele, Niemeyer, Ober, Price, Rhoads, Richardson, Slager, Smaltz, M. Smith, Soliday, Speedy, Steuerwald, Sullivan, Thompson, Turner, Ubelhor, VanNatter, Washburne, Wesco, Wolkins, Zent.
Austin, Bartlett, Battles, Bauer, Braun, C. Brown, Candelaria Reardon, Clere, DeLaney, Dvorak, Eberhart, Errington, Forestal, GiaQuinta, Hale, Harris, Heuer, Huston, Kersey, Kirchhofer, Klinker, Kubacki, Lawson, Macer, Moed, Moseley, Niezgodski, Pelath, Pierce, Porter, Pryor, Riecken, Saunders, Shackleford, Torr, Truitt, V. Smith, Summers, VanDenburgh, Ziemke.
Davisson, Goodin, Stemler