HJR-3 passes Senate Rules committee in 8-4 vote along party lines

The Indiana Senate Rules committee passed a proposal to define marriage as between one man and one woman in the Indiana constitution Monday after hearing 3 hours of testimony.

Posted on Feb. 10, 2014 at 2:27 p.m.

The Indiana Senate Rules and Legislative Procedure Committee passed a controversial proposal to further ban same-sex marriage in the state constitution in an 8-4 partisan vote Monday, Feb. 10.

The committee voted after three hours of emotional testimony both for and against House Joint Resolution 3, or HJR-3.

The measure passed in its current form, which reads: "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana."

YES: Thomas Wyss, Ed Charbonneau, Douglas Eckerty, Brandt Hershman, Dennis Kruse, James Merritt and Brent Steele, all Republicans

NO: Timothy Lanane, James Arnold, Jean Breaux and Lindel Hume, all Democrats

The proposal now moves to the Senate floor. The second reading could begin as early as Thursday, Feb. 13. The deadline for the third and final reading and vote is Tuesday, March 4.

The Senate could do one of three things: pass the amendment in its current form, re-add the second sentence of the amendment removed by the House or not pass the amendment.

If HJR-3 passes the Senate in its current form without the second sentence, Hoosiers may not get a chance to vote on the measure until 2016 at the earliest.

If the Senate reinstates the second sentence, the bill would go back to the House and could appear on the November ballot.

All eight Republicans on the committee voted in favor of the proposed amendment; all four democrats on the committee voted against it. 

HJR-3 was approved by the Indiana House on Jan. 28 in a 57-40 vote after debate led lawmakers to remove the second sentence of the amendment. That second sentence stated, "A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized." 

The bill was authored by State Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero. Among the three co-authors are Tim Wesco, a Republican from Osceola, and State Rep. Wes Culver, a Goshen Republican. State Rep. Rhonda Rhoads, R-Corydon, is the third co-author.

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