February 15, 2011 at 8:26 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Ind. House approves marriage amendment

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.”

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Michael

    Seems the Hoosiers forgot their basic lessons in the Constitution. Separation of church and state.

  • Caitlin

    Disgusting. Someone ask him whether he thinks we should go back to the traditional ways of marriage where wives were considered the property of their husbands and blacks and whites weren’t allowed to marry eachother. If we’re preserving the traditions of family, while not go back to the traditions of one race only and gender roles that didn’t treat women has people? The words these people use to cover their bigotry are pathetic. My only hope now is that by 2014, enough people will be capable of using basic intelligence that this measure will be shot down by voters.

  • Rhosan

    If they want to uphold the sanctity of the family they must include the outlawing of Divorce and single parenthood. If through death or becoming pregnant outside of marriage, all children must be taken away so they they can be placed with a two parent (man and woman) family. This is the only way this can uphold the ideals that the legislature is attempting.

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