Indiana Senator Mike Delph, R-Carmel, says he won't vote for a proposed constitutional amendment strengthening the state's same-sex marriage ban unless the Senate reinstates a removed second sentence that would also ban civil unions in Indiana.
During a press conference Monday morning, Delph said Senate President Pro Tempore David Long, R-Fort Wayne, is to blame for the failed attempt to re-add the constitutional ban on civil unions to House Joint Resolution 3, or HJR-3, in the Senate.
"I've said it once and I'll say it again," Delph said, "he who controls the process controls the outcome."
He argued that Long re-assigned the bill to the Senate Rules and Legislative Process committee, where it did not have enough support for the second sentence to be re-added before the bill came to the Senate floor for a vote.
The bill passed the Senate committee in an 8-4 vote on Monday, Feb. 10 but during the Senate's second reading on Thursday, Feb. 13, no one offered to re-add the second sentence or alter the language of HJR-3 in any way. The lack of action means that the legislative process starts over and Hoosiers won't be able to vote on HJR-3 until 2016 at the earliest.
But that's too not soon enough for Delph.
"If we cannot get the marriage amendment to the people now, I'm not convinced we ever will," he said and added that allowing Hoosiers to vote sooner rather than later would put the issue to rest once and for all.
Delph said he wants HJR-3 moved back to the amendment stage stage so the second sentence can be restored and Hoosiers would again have a chance to vote on it in November.
The alternative, he said, is that he will cast a "no" vote for HJR-3 during Monday afternoon.
Delph has been a long-time staunch opponent of same-sex marriage. After Thursday's second reading of HJR-3, he lit up Twitter, where he interacted with opponents and supporters of the proposal.