Indiana News

Same-Sex Marriage Debate Ends Without Vote

1/13/2014


Opponents of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage gather outside the House chamber. (WIBC.com photo: Eric Berman)

Members of the House Judiciary Committee are expected to vote on a gay-marriage ban at their next meeting.

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After hearing three-and-a-half hours of testimony on Monday, the committee recessed without a vote.

Opponents, including the Indy Chamber and Hoosier companies from Eli Lilly, contend the constitutional amendment would hurt employers' ability to attract top talent. Lilly director of diversity Steve Fry says one key team member with a same-sex partner has already quit to work for a competitor.

Supporters argue the social ills of single-parent homes also apply in same-sex marriages, where either a father or mother will be missing. And they say the amendment adds a layer of protection to the state law banning gay marriage.

All four Democrats on the committee oppose the amendment. Opponents would need three Republican votes to defeat it in committee. One of the panel's nine Republicans, Carmel's Jerry Torr, voted yes in 2011 but has said he's leaning against the amendment this time.

Three freshman Republicans will be casting their first votes on the issue. Martinsville Representative Peggy Mayfield says she made clear her support for the amendment when she campaigned, but says she'll take time to digest all the day's testimony.

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