Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, filed House Joint Resolution 3 Thursday, which looks to ban same-sex marriage in Indiana through the state Constitution. He also introduced a bill describing the legislative intent of offering the amendment.
The resolution would amend Article 1 of the Constitution, adding Section 38 that says only marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as marriage in Indiana. It also says “A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”
This proposed amendment to the Constitution must be agreed to by two consecutive General Assemblies and ratified by a majority of the state’s voters to become effective. It was approved by the previous General Assembly.
House Bill 1153 would add a new chapter to Indiana Code regarding the marriage amendment. The legislation says the intent is to restrict the state from creating or recognizing a legal status “between unmarried individuals equivalent or substantially similar to marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman.” It goes on to outline what the legislators do not want the amendment to restrict, including the extension of employment benefits to any beneficiary designated by an employed individual and protections provided under the state’s domestic violence laws.
The bill comes amid concerns that the language of the proposed constitutional amendment would not be limited to gay and lesbian couples and would negatively impact heterosexual couples who were not married.