Senate Committee Approves HJR-3

Feb 11, 2014

Supporters of HJR-3 rally at the statehouse Monday.
Credit Brandon Smith / Indiana Public Broadcasting

A Senate committee Monday approved HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage.  The debate surrounding the measure shifted during Monday’s hearing, focusing more on the restoration of the amendment’s controversial second sentence.

The House removed HJR-3’s second sentence, which bans civil unions, after concerns were raised it could prohibit domestic partnership benefits.  Proponents of the measure, including Governor Mike Pence, are calling on the Senate to reinsert that language. 

Doug Mainwaring, who identifies as gay, says he recently recommitted to his ex-wife after realizing the importance of traditional marriage.  And he says the second sentence’s ban on civil unions helps ensure traditional marriage isn’t undermined.

“The state should not incentivize relationships that intentionally deprive children of either a mom or a dad,” Mainwaring said.

Jennifer Fisher, who identifies as lesbian, lives in Fort Wayne with her partner.  She says if the Senate can’t reject HJR-3 outright, it at least shouldn’t reinsert the second sentence.

“Because that is the sentence that means that I have no protection with my family,” Fisher said. “It means that my partner and I have no valid relationship in Indiana.”

The committee approved the measure eight to four.  It now heads to the floor, where the full Senate could consider reinserting the second sentence as early as Thursday.