The Indiana Senate gallery on Tuesday
was closed as the chamber began debate on a resolution that aims to
ban gay marriage in the state, The Indianapolis Star reported.
Foes of the proposed measure that seeks
to define marriage as a heterosexual union in the Indiana
constitution, thereby outlawing gay marriage, civil unions and
possibly domestic partnerships, got the attention of Senate President
“Stop hating, stop dividing, stop
pandering,” the protesters yelled from the gallery.
Long ordered the gallery closed. “Jobs
not hate,” the roughly 40 protesters yelled as they filed out.
The House overwhelmingly approved the
measure with a 70-26 vote late last month. The Republican-controlled
Senate is expected to approve the resolution later this week.
Voters, however, won't vote on the
proposal to amend the state constitution until 2014 at the earliest,
after a separately elected General Assembly approves the resolution.
Supporters of the bill claim the
amendment is 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 constitutional.