Committee Approves HJR-3, Sets Up Indiana House Vote

Jan 23, 2014

Indiana House chambers were packed Wednesday as the House Elections Committee heard testimony on HJR-3.
Credit Gretchen Frazee / Indiana Public Broadcasting

Many of the same faces, much of the same testimony, but a different result – a House committee Wednesday approved the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.

The House Judiciary Committee last week took more than three hours of testimony on the proposed amendment known as HJR-3.  But that committee did not take a vote, and after concerns arose that it would not pass the committee, House Speaker Brian Bosma reassigned HJR-3 to the House Elections Committee. 

That committee took more than four hours of testimony Wednesday and ended its hearing with a vote approving the controversial measure. 

St. Joseph County Republican Representative Tim Wesco was clear: he says marriage is between a man and a woman.

“I believe the people of Indiana are demanding the right to vote on whether to put that in their constitution,” Wesco said. “I vote yes.”

Vincennes Democratic Representative Kreg Battles, who voted for the amendment in 2011, says he came into the hearing undecided.  He says his decision to vote no came down to thinking about the public campaign that will ensue if the amendment goes to the ballot for voters to approve in November.

“When your children or when my grandchildren have to watch the ads that are going to be on TV, are you going to be proud?” Battles said. “Are we going to be proud, as a body, of that?”

Only the three Democrats at the committee hearing voted against the measure.  It now heads to the full House.