An Indiana constitutional ban on same-sex marriage is closer to becoming law after an overwhelming House vote was held this week which could make the state the 31st in the country to ban gay marriage by constitutional amendment.
Section 38 of the proposed amendment, which is now on its way to the Senate, defines marriage and would also prohibit civil unions, stating: "Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. - A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized"
"I'm very pleased," Rep. Eric Turner, D-Marion, said after the Indiana House Judiciary Committee approved the resolution."This is the eighth year we've tried to work on a constitutional amendment on marriage," reports the Indy Star.
“The basic unit of society is the family, and the cornerstone of the family is marriage. Marriage is, and should be, the union of one man and one woman,” said Turner, the gay marriage ban’s author, to the Evansville Courier and Press.
Rep. Mary Ann Sullivan, D-Indianapolis, called the ban “a blow that hurts thousands across this great state, and taints our constitution with the language of hate,” and said she has friends and neighbors who are “deeply, deeply hurt by this legislation,” according to the Courier Press.
The controversial bill now heads to the Indiana State Senate, where it has passed numerous time in recent years . "If approved by the Senate this year, the proposal must be considered and approved again either in 2013 or 2014. If passed by the General Assembly a second time, the measure will be placed on the ballot in November 2014," reports LBGTQ Nation.
"Evan Wolfson, founder and president of Freedom to Marry, urged the Indiana Senate to reject the bill," said the LBGTQ organization. “Constitutions should be respected as shields of fairness for all, not used as weapons to discriminate and harm,” Wolfson said.
“Ultimately, it’s the public that decides whether we want to put this in our state constitution,” Turner said, reported the Courier-Journal.