The Indiana House of Representatives voted Tuesday evening to amend a ban of gay marriages and civil unions into the state’s constitution. The vote took place after a debate that, at less than 30 minutes, was much shorter than contentious issues often command in the House.
“The basic unit of society is the family, and the cornerstone of the family is marriage. Marriage is, and should be, the union of one man and one woman,” said the gay marriage ban’s author, Rep. Eric Turner, R-Marion.
Same-sex marriage is already prohibited under Indiana law, but Turner said a constitutional amendment is necessary to keep the state’s courts from overturning that law. The amendment says: “Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized.”
The ban now moves to the Senate, where its passage is a near certainty because the chamber has approved a constitutional gay marriage ban without any trouble repeatedly in recent years.
It would have to pass a separately-elected General Assembly, which means it’d need to clear the House and the Senate in either 2013 or 2014, as well. Then, the ban would go to a statewide referendum.
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