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Monday, January 13, 2014

Ind. Law - "Committee vote on proposal to ban gay marriage delayed"

Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reporter Niki Kelly, who you may have seen seated behind the speakers taking notes (dressed in purple) during the entire long hearing this morning, has now posted good coverage of the hearing. Some quotes:

INDIANAPOLIS – The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee unexpectedly delayed a vote Monday on the proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage and civil unionsRep. Greg Steuerwald, R-Danville, said committee members wanted time to reflect on the more than three hours of testimony given on the matter.

The surprise postponement spurred talk that Republicans were unsure they had enough votes to get the measure out of committee.

Seven votes are needed. The four Democrats are on record as voting against. * * *

The opponents wrapped up their coordinated testimony with well-known Republican lawyer Peter Rusthoven, who has constitutional expertise.

He focused on the ambiguity of the second sentence – even with the so-called clarifying bill.

“We are turning future decisions about what will and will not be recognized in Indiana to the courts,” Rusthoven said.

He said House Bill 1153 can’t be used to explain what an earlier legislature – with up to 20 different members – meant when the initial vote was taken in 2011.

The proponents had their own big-time Republican lawyer – Jim Bopp – who has handled constitutional cases at both the state and federal level.

“The benefit (to the companion bill) is it addresses the meaning of the amendment by the framers of the amendment,” he said. “That is exactly what the courts look to.”

He also said the reason opponents fight so hard against the constitutional amendment is they want the opportunity to more easily change the definition of marriage in statute in the near future.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 13, 2014 05:13 PM
Posted to Indiana Law