Indiana marriage amendment awaiting first hearing

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Indiana’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was filed today, January 9. It now awaits a hearing from the House Judiciary Committee.

The first sentence of the legislation reads, “Only marriage between a man and a woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana.” However, it is the second sentence of the proposed amendment that has raised the most controversy: “A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”

While it will ban the recognition of same-sex marriage if passed, the legislation also states that private employers’ right to provide domestic partnership benefits will remain intact.

Democratic leaders made numerous attempts to stop the bill, authored by Representative Eric Turner, from being tabled, but Republican leaders say they want the legislation to have a chance.

Of the thirteen members on the judiciary committee that will make the initial vote, seven supported the ban when it first passed in 2011. Three of them voted no, and the other three are new members.

A hefty twenty-eight states have passed constitutional bans on same-sex marriage; in contrast, currently there are seventeen states with legal marriage equality. New Mexico became the most recent on December 19, 2013.

Indiana’s bill against same-sex marriage can be read in its entirety on the state website.

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