Same sex marriage is already against the law in Indiana and lawmakers are in the process of creating a constitutional ban on same sex marriage. It means that President Obama’s statements in favor of same sex marriage will likely have little effect here.
Just last year the Indiana House passed the resolution that could lead to a permanent ban for the first time. The state Senate has approved it six times. It must pass again before it can go to a statewide referendum. When asked if there is any doubt that it will come up in 2013 state Senator Jim Merritt says, “No, I don’t think there’s any doubt whatsoever.”
Never mind that the governor thinks there should be a truce on social issues during difficult economic times. “And so I thought it was an incredibly unfortunate,” said Mitch Daniels, “to once again stir up something that on which Americans have a deep disagreement when we ought concentrate on those things that might bring us together.”
But in Indiana there’s not much disagreement. The last time the same sex marriage ban was voted on it passed the state Senate with bi-partisan support. The vote was 40-to-10. There have been protest rallies and, when Democrats controlled the House, they prevented votes on the ban, but there are no roadblocks in sight now.
Senator Greg Taylor is an opponent of the ban. He wouldn’t be surprised by another 40-to-10 vote. “I can’t predict the future,” he says, “but I can tell you with a high probability it could be about the same numbers.”
Because of that don’t look for a lot of same sex marriage talk in Indiana campaigns. “I think it will be a large campaign issue on a national scene,” says Sen. Merritt, “but I don’t believe it will be a campaign issue here.”
If the ban on the same sex marriage is approved by the General Assembly in 2013, as expected, it will then go to a statewide refendum in 2014.