Rep. Wesco foresees vote on HJR-3 and passage in elections committee

Indiana Rep. Tim Wesco expects the House elections committee to approve House Joint Resolution 3.

Posted on Jan. 21, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. | Updated on Jan. 23, 2014 at 10:48 a.m.

Indiana Rep. Tim Wesco will be there when the Indiana House Elections and Apportionment Committee hears testimony on House Joint Resolution 3, the measure to ban gay marriage.

Ultimately, the Osceola Republican — a member of the committee and an ardent HJR 3 backer — thinks the body will vote after hearing testimony Wednesday, Jan. 22, and approve the measure. Wesco’s district includes west central Elkhart County, including southern Elkhart.

“I expect we’ll vote on it tomorrow and I also expect it will pass,” he said by telephone late Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 21, from Indianapolis. HJR-3 may even have bipartisan support, he said, noting that one or two Democrats on the elections committee voted for a parallel measure put before lawmakers in 2011.

If HJR-3 is approved by lawmakers, a ballot question would be put to Indiana voters in November to amend the state constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman, effectively banning same-sex marriage. First it needs support at the committee level, and given apparent difficulties in getting backing in the House Judiciary Committee, which heard HJR-3 testimony Jan. 13, the measure was moved to the elections committee Tuesday.

Once it gets committee support, it would go to the full House before going to the Indiana Senate for consideration. Only if approved by the Senate would the question then be put to voters, who would have final say.

Wesco said he sat in on a portion of the Jan. 13 hearing, and he suspects much of the same testimony coming out of Wednesday’s hearing before the elections committee, set to start at 3:30 p.m. “That’s my expectation, that we’ll hear all the testimony again,” he said.

Likewise, he expects a packed house, as was the case Jan. 13. “I would expect no less,” he said.

Broadly, Wesco thinks the public ought to have a chance to sound off on the matter in the November vote. More personally, the proposal coincides with his beliefs.

“I strongly believe marriage is between one man and one woman and that ought to be defined in the constitution,” he said.

Follow reporter Tim Vandenack on Twitter at @timvandenack.

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