The resolution seeking to ban same-sex marriage in the Indiana Constitution passed the Senate Monday, meaning the soonest voters may have a say in the matter is 2016.
Senators voted 32-17 to pass House Joint Resolution 3, the resolution that defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Initially, the resolution included another sentence: “A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”
This sentence raised concerns for some regarding the potential impact on heterosexual couples and was taken out by the House of Representatives before moving the resolution to the Senate. Senators declined to put that sentence back in the amendment. Because the language in HJR3 approved by both houses differs from the language previously approved, this new version will need to be approved by the Indiana General Assembly in 2015 or 2016 before voters could get a chance to weigh in.
The decision to not reinsert the second sentence in HRJ3 led Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, to call a press conference where he chastised Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne. Delp said he wanted the measure to go back to second reading, and he voted against approving HJR3 Monday. The press conference came after Delph took to Twitter last week where he responded to critics and called out certain churches for not supporting the resolution.