Indiana News

Senate Approves Constitutional Ban on Gay Marriage

Debate resumes in 2013; amendment could go to voters in 2014

3/29/2011

The General Assembly is done with the gay-marriage issue for at least two years, after completing the first step toward a constitutional amendment.

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The Senate voted 40-10 to constitutionally ban same-sex marriage. Three Democrats joined every Senate Republican in voting yes.

Auburn Republican Dennis Kruse, who sponsored the amendment, says the 25-year-old state law banning gay marriage belongs in the constitution.

"The family is the basic unit of our society, and has been since Adam and Eve (were) created," Kruse says. "Marriage is, and should be, the union of one man and one woman."

Opponents contend the tide of public opinion has turned in favor of gay marriage since the amendment fight started six years ago, and that the trend is accelerating. They point to polls showing pluralities in favor of same-sex marriage in Indiana and nationally, and argue opposition to a ban is even stronger among younger Americans.

Supporters of a ban counter that all 30 states which have put the ban on the ballot have approved it, although Arizona needed two tries to do so.

The House had approved the proposal 70-26 last month. The Senate vote completes the first step in the amendment process.

Legislators must now wait till after next year's election, then approve it again in 2013 or 2014. Voters would then get the final say in the fall election in 2014.

It's the sixth time in seven years the Senate has passed an amendment, but just the second time the House has done so in the same year.

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