Two in Elkhart County delegation vote to trim HJR 3 language
Tuesday Jan. 28, 2014
Two lawmakers serving Elkhart County voted for the change trimming the language in House Joint Resolution 3, the proposal to amend the Indiana Constitution to ban same-sex marriage.
Three lawmakers serving the county voted against it.
The vote around 6 p.m. Monday to change the HJR 3 wording − removing the second sentence of the two-sentence proposal − passed 52-43, generating hurrahs from foes of the measure. If the change stands, it could conceivably delay a public referendum on the measure two more years if it otherwise garners support from lawmakers, from this coming November until 2016, reports the Indianapolis Star.
"Stripping the deeply flawed second sentence makes a bad amendment better, but we believe this amendment, in any form, has no place in our state's founding document," Megan Robertson, campaign manager of Freedom Indiana, said in a statement. "Still, we are incredibly grateful to lawmakers for removing this dangerous language from the amendment and standing up for gay and lesbian Hoosiers and their families."
The second sentence, said Freedom Indiana, would have prohibited civil unions between gay people. The first sentence is geared specifically to prohibiting same-sex marriage.
Now for the local roll call (available here):
- Voting in the majority for the change − Reps. Tim Neese of Elkhart and Rebecca Kubacki of Syracuse. Both are Republicans. Neese has voiced a measure of support in the past for civil unions while Kubacki has questioned the need to amend the Indiana Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage since it is already prohibited by Indiana law.
- Voting in the minority — Reps. Tim Wesco of Osceola, Wes Culver of Goshen and David Ober of Albion. All are Republicans and Wesco and Culver are HJR 3 co-authors.
The amended version of HJR 3 still has to be formally voted on by the Indiana House. Presuming passage, it would go to the Senate, which could theoretically re-insert the second sentence, the Indianapolis Star notes.
Tim Vandenack is a reporter at the Elkhart Truth newspaper. Reach him at email@example.com or 574-296-5884. Visit him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter at @timvandenack.