Governor Pence pledges support for a possible gay marriage ban being added to the state constitution

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June 29, 2013

Indiana

By Josh Altic

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana: Following the federal supreme court decision to overrule parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), many legislators in Indiana have expressed the intention of pushing for an amendment to add a ban of gay marriage to the Indiana Constitution. Although gay marriage is currently against the law in Indiana, some believe that a constitutional amendment is necessary to protect the ban from court overruling. The Supreme Court also recently ruled to ignore the appeal of individuals who were opposed to the recent overruling of California Proposition 8 gay marriage ban, effectively upholding a state court decision to overturn it. This decision, while leaving states unhindered in their own laws about gay marriage, brings the issue to the forefront of discussion and spurred some Indiana law makers to bring the issue to the legislative floor, where there will likely be heated debate in the near future. A constitutional amendment would require passage in the House and Senate and approval in a public vote.[1]

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-88) wrote the following in a statement released recently: “I am certainly pleased the Supreme Court has confirmed each state’s right to address the legal issue. The members of the General Assembly will be fully equipped to address the issue of the constitutional amendment in the coming legislative session, and with today’s decision, I am confident the matter will come before the General Assembly and ultimately be placed on a referenda ballot for voter consideration.”[2]

Governor Mike Pence also commented on the recent court decisions and promised support of a gay marriage ban amendment saying, “I believe marriage is the union between a man and a woman and is a unique institution worth defending. While I am disappointed that the Supreme Court has overturned the federal Defense of Marriage Act, I am grateful that today’s decisions respect the sovereignty of states on this important issue… I look forward to supporting efforts by members of the Indiana General Assembly to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot for voter consideration next year.”[3]

Several Democratic lawmakers also made statements about the new developments in the same-sex marriage debate in Indiana. Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane (D-25) said, concerning the recent DOMA court decision, “I think it really does call into question the wisdom of doing more than what Indiana has now." House Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-9) said, “There is no need to muddy up our state’s highest document with an amendment that is likely to be a blemish on Indiana’s history."[2]

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