The Indiana House on Tuesday evening voted 70-26 to pass a state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in the Hoosier State.
According to the Evansville Courier & Press, the GOP-controlled chamber approved the amendment after less than 30 minutes of debate, reportedly an unusually short length of time for the House to discuss a controversial issue.
Rep. Eric Turner, a Republican and author of the amendment, was quoted as saying passing the measure was necessary to maintain the current definition of family.
“The basic unit of society is the family, and the cornerstone of the family is marriage,” Turner was quoted as saying. ”Marriage is, and should be, the union of one man and one woman.”
Statute currently prohibits same-sex marriage in Indiana. Passage of the constitutional amendment would prevent courts from overturning the ban or the Legislature from legalizing same-sex marriage in the future.
The Senate, also controlled by the GOP, is expected to approve the amendment. After both chambers pass the proposal, it would have to pass again in 2013 or 2014 in order to get on the ballot in 2014.
Evan Wolfson, executive director of Freedom to Marry, called on the Indiana Senate to reject the measure because “government should be on the side of all families.”
“Constitutions should be respected as shields of fairness for all, not used as weapons to discriminate and harm,” Wolfson said. ”Indiana’s legislators should resoundingly reject this assault on the constitution and families, and avoid dragging the state backward at a time when Indiana’s families want to see them moving the economy forward.”