Senate Passes Amended Same-Sex Marriage Ban

Feb 18, 2014

The Indiana State Capitol in Indianapolis.

The proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage known as HJR-3 survived the 2014 session but not unscathed, losing its controversial second sentence.  And it won’t be on the ballot this fall.

HJR-3’s second sentence, which banned civil unions, was removed by the House because of concerns it could prohibit domestic partnership benefits.  The Senate opted against reinserting it.  And the Senate ended debate on the issue this year Monday, passing HJR-3 32 to 17. 

Wadesville Republican Senator Jim Tomes says he struggled with the issue, remaining undecided until the last moment.

“Yeah, I was going to vote to kill this thing,” Tomes said. “But I’m going to vote to keep it going because maybe it will give us one last stand, one last chance.”

Portage Democratic Senator Karen Tallian says prejudice shouldn’t be allowed to be clothed in religious or moral convictions.

“Your religious beliefs are your business,” Tallian said. “But they should not be used as justification for laws.”

HJR-3 now moves to the next General Assembly for approval in either 2015 or 2016.  If passed, it would head to the ballot in 2016.