I’m not ready to say that the proposed Constitutional provision that would ban same sex marriages and also a “substantially similar legal status” for unmarried individuals will fail to pass, but the drastic reduction in support over recent years is something to behold. Recall that in 2004, House Speaker Brian Bosma considered a gay marriage ban “the most important issue” facing the state.
This year, Speaker Bosma and the leadership team have not listed it in their package of legislative priorities. Gov-elect Mike Pence is sidestepping questions about his support for the Constitutional Amendment. Clearly he’s in favor, but publicly, anyway, he says he’s going to just let the legislature do its thing, and he says he won’t make it a point of emphasis from the governor’s office.
Today, Maureen Hayden, writing for CNHI, has an article entitled Support for gay-marriage ban wavering. Sen. Kenley, one of the more prominent leaders in the Indiana Senate, has said he won’t be supporting the measure.
Noting what he called the “rapidly evolving” shift in public opinion reflected in a poll released Thursday, the influential, conservative Republican said he’ll oppose such a measure if, as expected, it comes up for debate in the 2013 session.
“I don’t think putting it in the Constitution is a good idea,” said Kenley, the powerful Senate appropriations committee chairman who describes himself as a supporter of traditional marriage.
So, he is not ready to vote for legalizing same sex marriage. But, it’s already not legal in Indiana pursuant to IC 31-11-1.
Same sex marriages prohibited
Sec. 1. (a) Only a female may marry a male. Only a male may marry a female.
(b) A marriage between persons of the same gender is void in Indiana even if the marriage is lawful in the place where it is solemnized.
(Upheld by Morrison v. Sadler.
Be that as it may, I view the loss of appetite for engrafting marriage inequality into the Constitution as a positive step so that future generations can make their own choices. And, I especially support any move that prevents that horribly ambiguous second sentence about substantially similar legal statuses making its way into our state Constitution.
Even so, I expect that Rep. Eric Turner and lobbyists Micah Clark and Eric Miller have the drive and the clout to push the amendment through. But, that’s a bet I’d be happy to lose.