Indiana House members appear to be
divided on a proposal to put a gay marriage ban in the Indiana
The House is scheduled to begin debate
on HJR-3 on Monday. A House vote could take place later today.
According to a poll conducted by The
Indianapolis Star, 38 lawmakers said they plan to vote for
the amendment, while 38 said they plan to vote against it. Thirteen
representatives said they were undecided and 11 refused to answer.
In 2011, the House backed the measure
with a 70-26 bipartisan vote.
“Everyone assumed it would be closer
this time than in 2011,” Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs
Center for Indiana Politics at Indiana University-Purdue Fort Wayne,
told the paper. “But this is a lot closer than I think people
would have expected.”
Indiana is the first state to consider
a marriage ban since the Supreme Court ruled a key provision of the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional in June. DOMA, which
prohibited federal agencies from recognizing the marriages of gay
couples, inspired many of the state bans that followed.
A House panel on Wednesday voted to
send HJR-3 to the full House. The vote came a day after House
Speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican from Indianapolis, pulled the
proposed ban out from the House Judiciary Committee, where support
appeared weak after a hearing the week before, to the House Elections
and Appointment Committee, where all 9 Republicans voted for the
If the proposal clears the Indiana
House and Senate, then voters will decide the issue in November.