Looks Like Indiana Won’t Be Seeing An Anti-Marriage Ballot Measure This Year

Freedom IndianaDespite the best efforts of Republicans to maneuver it through the Indiana legislature, a state constitutional amendment that would ban marriage equality looks like it won’t make it onto the ballot this year. Even though the measure is only two sentences long, it turns out that one of the sentences is too odious even for marriage opponents.

At issue is the passage in the amendment that would ban lawmakers from creating a separate category, such as civil unions, to recognize gay relationships. During a vote by the state House of Representatives Monday night, that proved to be too much for 23 Republicans and 29 Democrats, who voted to strip the sentence from the amendment. The remaining sentence would amend the state Constitution to limit marriage to between and a man–classic overkill, since a marriage ban is already law in the state.

The vote starts the clock running again on the process for a constitutional amendment. Because the language in the amendment has changed, it has to be approved in a second legislative session. As a result, the amendment cannot appear on the ballot now until 2016 at the earliest.

Ironically, many of those who voted against the civil union sentence support amending the state Constitution. And many of the legislators voted for the entire measure as is when the legislature approved it in 2011.

One of them, GOP Rep. Kevin Mahan, said he changed his mind after voters told him the second sentence was overly restrictive. “You can be safe or you can be brave,” he told his colleagues.

Supporters of the amendment have been pushing incredibly hard for passage this year, likely knowing that the window passing such measures is closing rapidly. Statistician Nate Silver has projected that by 2016 Indiana will be pretty much evenly divided on the issue of marriage equality. Up against those odds, don’t be surprised if anti-marriage legislators try to salvage their amendment. The good news is that now they are the ones facing the uphill battle.

Photo credit: Freedom Indiana

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  • Dakotahgeo

    Ahhhhhhh!!! A new step for the level of intelligence: Indiana-dumb. Mmmm… yeah, that sounds about right!

  • Pamela D. Johnson

    I cant beleve I just bought a new yellow Mercedes E-Class Hybrid by working parttime off of a pc online. Get the facts http://x.co/3kvGp

  • hyhybt

    No, this is *better* for them than passing it as-is would have been.

    When it comes time, a federal court will kill Indiana’s ban whether it’s statutory or constitutional and whether or not it includes lesser forms. Those pushing this amendment know that just like we do. The *only* purpose in pushing it anyway is to be able to tell a certain segment of their constituents they’re doing something. By making this change, they turn off fewer other voters, but more importantly, get to use it again next time around, whereas passing the old version would make it a dead issue.

  • getbackjoe94

    This makes me so mad. I hate the state I live in because the politicians do stupid things like this. It shouldn’t even be an amendment in the first place; it’s already against the law. What the hell is being accomplished by making it an amendment? Not to mention, with all these other circuit court judges ruling that other states’ constitutional bans are unconstitutional, why do they think this one is any different?

  • Dakotahgeo

    @getbackjoe94: There is the well known fact of life that some people, i.e., legislators/politicians just have to learn the hard way. Seems these recalcitrant guys just have to do it the old-fashioned way… and fail a few times for it to settle in!

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