An Indiana Senate panel on Monday
approved a proposed gay marriage ban as amended in the House.
After more than 3 hours of testimony,
House Joint Resolution 3 (HJR-3) cleared the Senate Rules Committee
with an 8-4 party line vote.
The failure to return HJR-3's original
language in committee is a small victory for marriage equality
The bill approved by the House stripped
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.
HJR-3 supporters called on the
committee to return the measure's original language.
Opposition to the amendment was led by
executive from Eli Lilly, Cummings, Indiana University and the
Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce.
“Lilly has taken a stance against
HJR-3 because … the bill would negatively impact our ability to
attract talent,” Stephen F. Fry, senior vice-president of Human
Resources and Diversity at Eli Lilly, said in his testimony to the
Mayra Rose, chief administrative
officer at Cummings, testified that the ban would be “bad for
business” and do “irreparable harm to our state's reputation.”
The full Senate is expected to debate
the measure on Thursday.
If HJR-3 is approved in the Senate as
amended, the earliest it could reach voters is 2016.