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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. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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