Will Indiana’s Constitutional Marriage Ban Make It Through the Legislature This Time Around?

We first heard rumblings about an Indiana state constitutional amendment banning gay marriage this time last year when two House lawmakers introduced the bill. But now, in the State Senate, it just passed through the Judiciary Committee in a 6-4 party line vote; it’s expected to pass a full Senate vote, but faces stronger opposition in the House. Gay marriage is already illegal in Indiana, with state law barring it. But this bill applies to both marriage and civil unions, and would amend the state’s highest doctrine and, theoretically, block those activist judges who want to overturn the ban. Relays WIBC: “The Senate Judiciary Committee voted 6-4 along party lines to recommend the amendment to the full Senate, which could vote on it next week. The House and Senate approved a similar amendment in 2006. But the amendment stalled on its required second trip through the legislature in 2007, when a House committee deadlocked on the proposal. The amendment has not received a hearing in the House since. Two versions of the amendment have been filed this year in the House, including one co-sponsored by Democratic Reps. Steven Stemler of Jeffersonville and Ron Herrell of Kokomo. There’s been no indication the resolution will receive a hearing. Republicans on the panel remained silent throughout the two-hour hearing before voiting for the amendment. Democrats challenged witnesses to distinguish the ban from laws once on the books in Indiana and other states against interracial marriage.”