Gay marriage measure vote set for Monday

The first vote on a controversial measure regarding gay marriage in Indiana will likely take place on Monday.

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a public hearing on House Joint Resolution 3 for 10:00 a.m. at the Indiana Statehouse.

HJR 3 would set up a voter referendum that, if approved, would place a constitutional ban on same sex marriage.

“I will be voting no on the amendment, I voted against it in the past,” said Ind. Rep. Ryan Dvorak, (D) South Bend.

Both Dvorak and Ind. Rep. B. Patrick Bauer, (D) South Bend are members of the Judiciary Committee.

“In the State of Indiana, it’s against the law, as passed by the General Assembly, it bans gay marriages by law,” said Rep. Bauer. “I think it’s really some group or groups that want to impose their beliefs into the constitution, religious beliefs.”

Rep. Dvorak sees HJR 3 as an insurance policy for gay marriage opponents. “The proponents of the amendment want to have it in place as sort of insurance against the Indiana Supreme Court at some point in the future declaring the statute unconstitutional.”

Dvorak and others aren’t sure the social cost of that insurance policy is worth it.

“We don't know where things are going to go nationwide you know, I think maybe gay marriage might come down the road with the Supreme Court eventually,” said South Bend 1st District Common Councilman Tim Scott. “I don’t want Indiana to have that stigma that certain people aren’t accepted; certain talent or businesses or anybody who would want to bring a business here.”

Rep. Scott has placed a proposed resolution on Monday’s agenda for the South Bend Common Council. He wants to follow in the footsteps of councils in Indianapolis, Evansville, and Bloomington, and have South Bend leaders take a strong stand against the gay marriage ban.

Of course, state lawmakers can’t alter the constitution on their own, but HJR 3 would establish a voter referendum for November of 2014 so citizens could make the final decision.

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