Committee shopping results in passage of same-sex marriage amendment

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The second time was a charm for a proposed constitutional ban on same sex-marriage in Indiana.

For the second time in nine days, an Indiana House committee held a public hearing on the issue. “If I’m a person who is opposed to this amendment, how do I feel about going in front of a second committee that’s been handpicked to make sure I lose?” asked Ind. Rep. Ed DeLaney, (D) Indianapolis.

On January 10, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing on HJR 3, but members never took a vote. Once it became clear that the measure didn’t have enough votes to clear Judiciary, HJR-3 was re-assigned to a committee the speaker thought would pass it: the House Committee on Elections and Apportionment.

“I don’t know why it came to Elections and Apportionment, when it’s really a legal question, a legal issue,” complained Ind. Rep. John Bartlett, (D) Indianapolis.

Milo Smith is the Chairman of Elections and Apportionment: “For quite some time I thought this was about allowing our constituents to vote on the issue, this has been being debated since prior to me coming to the General Assembly for over ten years.”

After a lengthy public hearing, members of Elections and Apportionment today passed the measure by a vote of 9 to 3.

Ind. Rep. Tim Wesco of Osceola voted in favor of the measure.

Here is the full vote tally:

FOR: Woody Burton, R-Whiteland; Casey Cox, R-Fort Wayne; Richard Hamm, R-Richmond; Kathy Richardson, R-Noblesville; Milo Smith, R-Columbus (chairman); Ed Soliday, R-Valparaiso; Holli Sullivan, R-Evansville; Jeff Thompson, R-Lizton; Timothy Wesco, R-Osceola.

AGAINST: John Bartlett, D-Indianapolis; Kreg Battles, D-Vincennes; Phil GiaQuinta, D-Fort Wayne.

EXCUSED: Terry Goodin, D-Crothersville

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