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Monday, January 27, 2014

Ind. Law - Weekend news coverage of the marraige amendment issues

"Indiana House members wavering on marriage amendment" was the headline in many Gannett papers around the state to Indianapolis Star reporters Tony Cook and Barb Berggoetz long, front-page story. A quote:

As the House prepares to take up the issue again — as early as Monday — members who have declared a position are split down the middle, an Indianapolis Star poll found.

Of the 100 House members, 38 plan to vote for the measure, House Joint Resolution 3, while 38 plan to vote against it. The other 24 said they were undecided (13) or declined to comment (11).

That gives opponents a better shot than most anyone expected just weeks ago, but they still need to woo 13 noncommitted lawmakers — including at least 11 Republicans — to kill the ban.

“Everyone assumed it would be closer this time than in 2011,” said Andy Downs, director of the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. “But this is a lot closer than I think people would have expected.

“If I were leadership at this time,” he said, “I’d be pretty nervous right now.”

Even backers acknowledged the shift.

“That’s consistent with what we’re hearing,” said Curt Smith, director of the Indiana Family Institute, a group supporting the amendment. “I think it’s tightening.”

Still, Smith is “guardedly optimistic” the amendment will win approval, considering that many members voted for the ban in 2011. If it passes, it will be put on the November ballot for voters to consider.

Here is the Indianapolis Star database of how each house member said he or she planned to vote.

"Settling gay marriage debate?" is the headline to Scott Smith's column in the Kokomo Tribune. The story ends with quotes from Howard County Republican Party Chairman Craig Dunn:

“There are sizeable numbers of Republicans that don’t really believe that this is the thing to do. Not that I’m saying they think marriage is anything but between one man and one woman,” Dunn said.

Dunn also doesn’t believe the gay marriage debate in Indiana will drag on for decades.

“If it’s defeated, it’s done forever. If it passes with the second sentence intact, I believe it will be overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

"Marriage amendment headed to vote, despite warnings" is the headline to a story Sunday by Christin Nance Lazerus in the Gary Post-Tribune. Some quotes:
Two local mayors — Hammond’s Thomas McDermott and Valparaiso’s Jon Costas — have indicated their opposition to the measure.

McDermott and Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, were critical of the move by House Speaker Brian Bosma, D-Indianapolis, who put House Joint Resolution 3 in the hands of the Elections committee when it got bogged down in the Judiciary committee.

“Changing the constitution is not supposed to be easy,” McDermott said. “It’s supposed to be an arduous process.”

Brown said it’s the first time he can think of that a bill changed committees after the first committee held a hearing and heard testimony.

“It’s really something unique and bizarre, and it makes a mockery of the entire legislative process,” Brown said. “You have to look at the real underlying purpose for this move, and it’s major fundraising tool for his caucus. That’s the main reason for getting it out there.”

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 27, 2014 09:18 AM
Posted to Indiana Law