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House committee ends hearing without vote on marriage amendment

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After more than three hours of testimony, the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee recessed Monday without taking a vote on the constitutional marriage amendment and accompanying bill.

Committee chairman Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, ended the hearing by announcing the members would not be voting so they could weigh the testimony they had heard.

Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, introduced HJR 3, the marriage amendment which bans same-sex unions, and his companion legislation, House Bill 1153, which serves to explain the Legislature’s intent primarily behind the controversial second sentence of the proposed constitutional provision.

The House Chamber and gallery were filled to capacity for the meeting with a large crowd gathered standing outside in the Statehouse hallway. Many of the opponents of the amendment and bill wore red shirts and blue stickers printed with the logo for Freedom Indiana, an organization working to defeat the amendment.

Executives from Cummins Inc., Eli Lilly and Co., the Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and Indiana University spoke in opposition of the amendment and bill. They and others against the proposals emphasized the measures would hurt the state’s efforts to compete in the global market and recruit top talent to Indiana.

They also framed the debate as being about a civil rights issue, asserting the amendment discriminated against a particular segment of society.  

Supporters of the measure included outside groups Alliance Defending Freedom and Heritage Foundation as well as Indiana organizations of Advance America and the Indiana Family Institute.

They emphasized the state had an interest in defining marriage as between one man and one woman because this creates the most stable environment in which to raise children. In addition, they argued that businesses would not be harmed and that domestic partner benefits would not be endangered by the amendment.

Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee were active in questioning Turner and supporters of the amendment. Republican members did not pose any questions to any of the participants.

If the proposed amendment is passed by both the Indiana House and Senate this session, the measure will appear on the November ballot.

Opponents urged the Judiciary Committee to vote against the proposal, saying the debate alone would harm Indiana. Supporters framed the debate as part of the democratic process, saying the Legislature and residents should have the right to define marriage instead of the courts.
 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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