Opponents of HJR-3 are celebrating what they call a huge victory after the Senate Thursday failed to reinsert the measure’s controversial second sentence.
HJR-3 is the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage. HJR-3’s second sentence, which banned civil unions, was removed by the House after concerns it would prohibit domestic partnership benefits.
Proponents of the measure called for the language to be reinserted by the Senate. But Thursday, when Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann, who presides over the Senate, opened the floor up for proposed changes to HJR-3, she was met with silence.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long says his caucus made the decision not to offer any changes. Long says he was personally opposed to the second sentence. He believes the first sentence, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, is sufficient:
“I’m convinced that it really doesn’t make any difference in the end," Long says. "The United States Supreme Court is going to make the decision on whether or not it’s either a state-by-state determination or whether the Amendment will rule and that they say that all marriage is the same.”
Long says the Senate will vote on HJR-3’s final passage Monday. If the Senate passes it, it will move forward for consideration by the General Assembly in either 2015 or 2016 and will not be sent to the voters this year.