Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate Pro Tempore David Long announced today that any action on the “marriage amendment” will have to wait until 2014.
The amendment would have not only banned same-sex marriage in Indiana, but some legal experts have said it would also ban civil unions and impact hundreds of other rights affecting domestic couples in the state.
Bosma and Long cited the U.S. Supreme Court as the primary reason for the delay. The high court is expected to hear arguments regarding California’s same-sex marriage ban this year and a decision is not expected until October. And depending on the outcome, Indiana could find itself in the politically embarrassing position of voting for an amendment to the state constitution which was declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because once the proposal gets on the ballot, there is no way to remove it.
The two leaders say there was overwhelming support in both caucuses to delay a vote.
Under Indiana law, any amendment to the State Constitution must be approved by two consecutive sessions of the General Assembly before going to the voters.
Indiana Equality, an organization that advocates on behalf of the LGBT community, called it major victory. Supporters of the ban, like the Indiana Family Institute, have maintained that there was no reason for a delay.
Indy Politics has audio from today’s news conference with Bosma and Long, as well as Indiana Equality and an interview with Ryan McCann done a couple weeks ago on the amendment.