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Indiana Lawmakers Remain Divided Over HJR-3 Amendment

Indiana lawmakers remain divided over an amendment that could tighten the ban on gay marriage in the Hoosier State.
Indiana lawmakers remain divided over an amendment that could tighten the ban on gay marriage in the Hoosier State.  Members of the Indiana House of Representatives are expected to make changes to the marriage amendment.

The move could put a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage on the ballot for Indiana voters to decide this coming November.

The amendment HJR-3 was recently reassigned from the Judiciary Committee to the House Election Committee in what some deemed a controversial move by Speaker of the House Brian Bosma.  The proposed amendment is controversial. 

9 Republicans to 3 Democrats voted to send the measure to the State House.

Our 2 representatives from Fort Wayne were split.  Casey Cox, a Republican voted for the amendment while Phil Giaquinta, A Democrat voted against the amendment.

The vote came following a public hearing that lasted 4 and 1/2 hours.  Indiana is one of a handful of states that ban gay marriage in statue but not in its constitution.

Supporters of the constitutional amendment say it is needed to stop a state judge from potentially overturning the existing ban.  A poll by the Indianapolis Star finds that an equal number of representatives are for and against the amendment.

According to the poll, 38 plan to vote for the measure and 38 plan to vote against it.  The remaining 24 representatives said they were undecided or declined to comment.

Freedom Indiana, the non-profit group leading the fight against the passage of this bills, tells WFFT that they planned an entire weekend of Keep the Faith rallies around Indiana.

"You have to stand up for what you believe, and I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to pursue their life the way they choose, without others dictating."

"Marriage unites man and a woman with one another and with any children born from their union, that's what marriage is about.  It's the only public purpose for marriage.  There's no public purpose in recognizing the union of two men or two women.  That's simply a private matter that needs no public recognition."

"This act is a discrimination of including this in our constitutional fundamentally contradicts love of neighbors."

The bill will appear for a vote by the full house, where amendments will likely be proposed.  If the House passed the amendment, it will move to the Senate where the process starts once again.  If the bill passes both chambers of Indiana's Legislature, the amendment will go before you the voters next November.

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