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Monday, December 03, 2012

Ind. Law - "Timing essential in Ind. gay marriage battle"

Here is Tom LoBianco's AP story, as published yesterday in the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette. Some quotes:

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Timing is everything when it comes to the battle over whether to amend Indiana's constitution to ban same-sex marriages. And key lawmakers are playing their cards close to the vest heading into the 2013 legislative session with a new governor and a list of big priorities.

Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma told reporters before the election that the measure could move swiftly through his chamber, but he did not include it in a package of ideas House Republicans said they would push in 2013.

Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, led the fight for the measure's passage last year but has yet to say if or when he will introduce the measure, which needs a second vetting by the General Assembly before it can be placed on the 2014 ballot.

"I don't know yet. Our leadership team, including (Rep.) Tim (Brown) and others, will get together and identify all the things we want to try to accomplish this session and next," Turner said. "We'll look at a lot of factors."

Some supporters of the ban argue now is the time to push the measure through. But there are more variables than usual for lawmakers to consider heading into 2013.

They will have to write their next biennial budget, get acclimated to a new governor for the first time in eight years and measure the possibility that the U.S. Supreme Court will take up the issue and make the whole argument moot. * * *

When lawmakers do debate the issue, it could be without a hand from Governor-elect Mike Pence. [Rick Sutton, executive director of Indiana Equality Action] said he met with Pence's transition team last week and was told the new administration would stay out of the fight.

"I think everyone knows where Mike Pence has been on this issue in the past. But ... they have big things to do and this is not on their priority list to jump in to something where they have no role anyway," he said.

"It is my opinion they have bigger fish to fry."

Pence spokeswoman Christy Denault did not say how Pence would handle the issue, only stating "Gov.-elect Pence is focused on building an administration and advancing his jobs and education initiatives."

ILB: Constitutional amendments are in the form of joint resolutions, which do not go to the Governor for his action, as bills do.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 3, 2012 10:50 AM
Posted to Indiana Law