UPDATE: Unfortunately, the Indiana Senate failed to restore the second sentence to the state's proposed Marriage Amendment. Because the weakened language differs from that which passed the legislature in the previous session, the amendment cannot appear on the ballot before 2016.
February 7, 2014
The Indiana legislature is on the verge of passing a marriage amendment that will give voters the opportunity to preserve marriage in November. HJR-3, Indiana’s Marriage Amendment, is currently before the Indiana Senate. It defines marriage in the state as a union between one man and one woman.
The procedure in Indiana for a constitutional amendment requires ratification by two successive General Assemblies before sending it to voters. In 2011, the General Assembly passed the Marriage Amendment. If the Senate passes HJR-3, the amendment goes before voters in November, where they could ratify it and incorporate the definition of traditional marriage into the Indiana Constitution.
It is essential that the Senate vote to ratify HJR 3. If they fail to do so, the amendment process must start over again in the next General Assembly, and then it would not be voted on until at least 2016. Furthermore, the Senate must pass the amendment with its original language, as follows: “Only a marriage 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 shall not be valid or recognized.”
Earlier this year, the House of Representatives stripped the second sentence out of the amendment, making possible civil unions and legal challenges that would undermine marriage. Omitting the second sentence will also delay the amendment’s appearance on the ballot because the language must be identical to what was adopted by the General Assembly in 2011. Passing HJR-3 as originally written provides the strongest support for traditional marriage and guarantees voters the earliest chance to weigh in on the issue.
Indiana is critical to protecting traditional marriage in the United States. Most states that have had same-sex marriage imposed by the judiciary lacked constitutional protections for traditional marriage, having assumed that state law would be sufficient. Indiana is one of only three remaining states that protect traditional marriage through state law rather than through the state constitution. HJR 3 would strengthen that protection and allow the voice of Indiana voters, rather than unelected judges, to rule.
Make sure your voice is heard. Call the following key state senators and tell him or her to restore the second sentence to HJR-3, the Marriage Amendment, and then vote yes.
SENATORS (All senators area code 317)
Ron Alting 232-9445
Vaneta Becker 232-9452
Phil Boots 232-9449
Ed Charbonneau 232-9468
Mike Crider 232-9493
Doug Eckerty 232-9438
Ron Grooms 232-9469
Randy Head 232-9479
David Long 232-9416
Jim Merritt 232-9533
Ryan Mishler 232-9447
Johnny Nugent 232-9446
Allen Paul 232-9454
Tom Wyss 232-9451