House removes second sentence in HJR-3

(WISH Photo, file)
(WISH Photo, file)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A pivotal vote in the Indiana House of Representatives Monday evening means the marriage amendment won’t go to a statewide referendum in November.

Supporters of gay marriage held an impromptu rally in the Statehouse, hugging and cheering, as they celebrated the vote in the Indiana House.

“This vote means everything to me,” said Dannie Dobbins.

“And we’re just overwhelmed with the support and the showing of the people today,” said Nita Brooks. “It’s fantastic!”

The House voted 52-43 to drop the second sentence in the marriage amendment, the one that outlaws civil unions as well as gay marriage.

The amendment calling for the change was offered by Republican Randy Truitt of West Lafayette.

Minority Democrats had prepared a similar amendment.

“We told you years ago,” said Minority Leader Scott Pelath in a floor speech, “this second sentence might impact domestic violence laws, might affect domestic partner benefits provided corporations and private entities.”

“The second sentence simply prevents marriage under another name,” responded Rep. Eric Turner (R-Cicero,) the author of the marriage amendment.

But while some celebrate, the proposed ban on gay marriage is still alive and could be voted on yet this week.

“I hope that we’ll just throw the whole thing out,” said Megan Robertson of Freedom Indiana, the group leading the opposition.

Unless the House does, there is still a chance for a referendum on gay marriage in 2016.

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