Procedural Move Makes Gay Marriage Vote Likely Soon

Jan 22, 2014

House Speaker Brian Bosma announced Tuesday he is reassigning the proposed same sex marriage ban amendment to a new committee.  The move is designed to ensure the amendment reaches the House floor.

Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

The proposed same sex marriage ban amendment known as HJR-3 was initially assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.  But after a more than three hour long hearing last Monday, committee chairman Greg Steuerwald didn’t call for a vote.  

Speaker Brian Bosma says Steuerwald told him he doubts the amendment would have passed the committee and advanced to the House floor.

“I had clearly heard from an overwhelming number of the members of my caucus – an overwhelming majority, actually – that they wanted to have the bill on the floor,” Bosma said. “They wanted to have the opportunity to vote and say their piece on it; that came from members who were for it and some who were against it.”

Indianapolis Democratic Representative Ed DeLaney, a Judiciary committee member, says it’s inappropriate of Bosma to move the amendment because he didn’t like the way the vote was shaping up.

“We’re supposed to act in committees and give our advice and recommend things,” DeLaney said. “Apparently he couldn’t get the advice he wanted out of this committee.  He appointed every Republican member of the Judiciary Committee; he personally did that.  So he’s just insulted all of them.”

Bosma has reassigned legislation before, both this session and in the past; he says the amendment just happens to be more high-profile than most other measures.

HJR-3 now heads to the Elections Committee and is scheduled for a hearing Wednesday.  That means the full House could have a chance to vote on it next week at the earliest.