An Indiana House panel on Monday held a
hearing to consider a proposed constitutional amendment which seeks
to limit marriage to heterosexual couples.
The 13-member House Judiciary Committee
adjourned after hearing two-and-a-half hours of testimony without
voting on HJR-3, formerly HJR-6.
Rep. Eric Turner, a Republican from
Cicero, introduced the measure in 2011. It easily cleared the House
and Senate, both of which are controlled by Republicans. However, a
second vote is needed before the amendment can head to voters in
Turner recently introduced a companion
bill (House Bill 1153) to respond to questions over the measure's
broad language. The bill states that it is not the Legislature's
intent to block private employers from extending domestic partnership
benefits to their gay and lesbian workers.
Peter J. Rusthoven, a partner at Barnes
& Thornburg, testified that the amendment's language creates
substantial uncertainty and that the companion bill invites judicial
skepticism, because a newly elected Legislature cannot interpret the
legislative intent of previous lawmakers.
Opponents of the measure testified that
it was unnecessary since Indiana law already bans same-sex marriage
recognition and that it would hurt the state's business climate.
Gov. Mike Pence to address anti-gay marriage group.)