The Indiana Senate on Thursday failed
to return language to a proposed gay marriage ban, meaning that the
question will not be on the ballot in November.
House Joint Resolution 3 (HJR-3)
cleared the House two weeks ago after lawmakers amended the measure
to strip out language which also banned civil unions and other
similar arrangements. Because a constitutional amendment must be
approved by two separately elected General Assemblies before it can
advance to the ballot box, HJR-3's altered language effectively
blocks it from reaching November's ballot.
Supporters of the ban – including the
National Organization for Marriage (NOM) – called on the Senate to
return HJR-3's original language. NOM has previously said that it
was confident voters would approve the amendment in November.
But no amendments to HJR-3 were
introduced as the Senate called the measure for a second reading.
In an emailed statement, Evan Wolfson,
founder and president of Freedom to Marry, welcomed the development.
“Today's action is a welcome step
back from the brink, ensuring that Indiana's families will not be
subjected to a harsh campaign that would add cruel and
unconstitutional language to Indiana's state constitution this
November,” Wolfson said. “This reflects the growing momentum for
the freedom to marry the person you love, and a repudiation of the
effort to strip gay Hoosiers and their families of legal protections
Wolfson called on the Senate to reject
Should the Senate advance the measure,
the earliest it could reach voters is 2016.