The Indiana Senate is expected to vote
as early as Wednesday on a resolution that aims to ban gay marriage
in the state.
Last week, the proposed constitutional
amendment won the approval of the Senate Judiciary Committee. The
House overwhelmingly approved the measure with a 70-26 vote late last
month. The Senate has approved a similar measure in the past and the
bill is expected to face little opposition in the
Voters, however, won't vote on the
proposal to alter the state constitution until 2014 at the earliest,
after a separately-elected General Assembly approves the resolution.
If approved by voters, the amendment would also ban civil unions and
possibly domestic partnerships.
Supporters of the bill, sponsored by
Representative Eric Turner, a Cicero Republican, testified last week
in committee that the amendment was needed because the state's gay
marriage ban remains vulnerable to a legal challenge. Indiana
courts, however, have already declared the state's 1997 law
“Two-thirds of the states have
amended their constitutions because of the legal challenges that have
occurred,” Micah Clark of the American Family Association of
Indiana said. “For example, Iowa had a law similar to ours [and
then] had same-sex marriages forced on them by the courts.”
Marriage equality supporters held a
rally at the Statehouse last Monday.