Because HJR 6 /3 is very much on many peoples’ minds, I thought it might be helpful to provide a citation to the constitutional basis for amending the Indiana Constitution. It’s found in Article 16, section 1 of the Indiana Constitution and states:
(a) An amendment to this Constitution may be proposed in either branch of the General Assembly. If the amendment is agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses, the proposed amendment shall, with the yeas and nays thereon, be entered on their journals, and referred to the General Assembly to be chosen at the next general election.
(b) If, in the General Assembly so next chosen, the proposed amendment is agreed to by a majority of all the members elected to each House, then the General Assembly shall submit the amendment to the electors of the State at the next general election.
(c) If a majority of the electors voting on the amendment ratify the amendment, the amendment becomes a part of this Constitution.
The question has arisen, what if the language of HJR 3 is amended so that it keeps the first sentence but eliminates the second. In other words:
Only a marriage 9 between one (1) man and one (1) 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 12 shall not be valid or recognized.
I did a quick Westlaw search for Art. 16, sec. 1 and could not see that this question had been addressed. But, I would say that if HJR 3 is amended to omit the second sentence, then it becomes something different than the HJR 6 that was passed by the previous General Assembly. The Constitution speaks of “an amendment” and “If the amendment.” The amendment with both sentences is something substantially different than the amendment with just the first sentence. We can’t retroactively decide that the amendment would have passed the first General Assembly if only half of it were included.
I think it’s a fair assumption that if HJR 3 passes this General Assembly without the second sentence, then we have a new proposed Constitutional amendment and it would then need to pass another General Assembly in that form.