3 Republicans on the spot in gay marriage debate

January 15th, 2014 at 5:34 pm by under Jim Shella's Political Blog

The future of a permanent ban on gay marriage in Indiana is now in the hands of a small number of lawmakers.

A committee vote on the marriage amendment was delayed Monday.  It won’t take place unless there are enough votes to pass it.

If that happens, the deciding vote will likely come from one of three Republicans.

Jerry Torr of Carmel, Dan Leonard of Huntington, and Wendy McNamara of Mt. Vernon are the only committee members who have not made public commitments to vote one way or the other on the marriage amendment.

Torr declined to discuss his deliberations.

Leonard has made up his mind but won’t disclose his position.  “At this point and with this particular issue,” he said, “I would rather say you’ll know when I hit the green button or the red button.”

“I’m still looking at both sides,” says McNamara, “and we’re still trying to make a determination.”  And that means that both supporters and opponents of the marriage amendment are focusing on Wendy McNamara.

She recently attended a crowded town hall meeting in Evansville where raw emotions were expressed by both sides.

“What right do you even have to take away people’s civil and constitutional rights?” asked an opponent of the marriage amendment.

“Our nation will be destroyed if we do not stand up for marriage between a man and a woman,” said a supporter of it.

McNamara says doesn’t feel pressured one way or the other.  “You know, you’ve got friends on both sides of this issue,” she said, “and it’s a very important issue to take the time and make sure you get it right.”

The marriage amendment will pass unless all three Torr, Leonard, and McNamara vote against it.  When that vote takes place is anybody’s guess.

It could happen next week.  It must happen by early February.

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