(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Marriage is already defined as a union between one man and one woman in the Indiana Constitution, but that law is not enough for lawmakers at the Statehouse.
A constitutional ban on the unions has passed the House by a 70-26 vote Tuesday. It will no cross the hall to the state Senate.
House Joint Resolution 6 author Rep. Eric Turner (R-Marion) defended the amendment during testimony before the vote.
“There’s been question whether it would affect contracts between people for visitation rights or property rights or things of that, and it does not,” Turner said, adding adoptions would not be affected by the bill.
Democrat Matt Pierce, of Bloomington, was one of the 26 “nay” votes saying this vote could be looked back on in the future as a watershed moment.
“Many of us, when our time has passed here in the legislature, will look back on this moment and maybe another one to come in a couple years and we’ll have to ask ourselves, ‘Were we proud about which side of history we stood on?’” said Pierce.
In recent years a bill to put the ban in the constitution has been killed off by Democrats in the House after passing the Senate, but this year the entire Statehouse is under Republican control.
In order to amend the constitution, the bill needs to be approved by two consecutive legislatures before going to a statewide vote. The earliest the ban could be on the ballot would be 2014.
The bill was co-authored by House District 69 State Rep. Dave Cheatham (D-North Vernon), who cast his vote in favor Tuesday. Other local state representatives voting for the bill included HD 68 Rep. Jud McMillin (R-Brookville).