INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -
Religious conservatives who lost a surprising battle over gay marriage in
Indiana this year are placing some of the blame with the state’s Republican
amending the Indiana Constitution to add the state’s current gay marriage
ban won a surprising victory when lawmakers delayed a public vote on the
measure until at least 2016. Supporters of the ban struggled to regain their
footing this session after a bipartisan group of House members stripped a
civil unions ban from the measure, in a move that pushed back the soonest a
public vote could happen.
executive director of the American Family Association of Indiana and one of
the lead supporters of the gay marriage ban, said supporters were told by
Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma they were on solid footing just two days
before the measure was knocked off track in the House.
“We were told right
up until two days before that (House) amendment vote that everything was
fine, it was going to fly out of the House,” Clark said.
Bosma said he never
promised the ban would pass through his chamber unaltered or make it to the
ballot this November.
“The only assurance
I gave anyone this year was that the whole House would deal with the issue,
and every member would have the opportunity to vote their conscience. And
that is exactly what happened,” he said.
The ban’s failure
to make it to the 2014 ballot was a surprising turn of events in Indiana,
just three years after bipartisan majorities approved the measure with the
civil unions ban. Indiana had become a national battleground for the issue
in 2014, after most other states had approved their own constitutional bans
or legalized gay marriage in some form.
Supporters of the
ban found themselves being largely outgunned this year, by a
highly-organized and well-funded group of opponents. Members of the
opposition group Freedom Indiana packed the Statehouse routinely, wearing
red to signify their opposition.
It was not until
the measure was taken up in the Senate this month that supporters of the ban
began arriving en masse to the Statehouse. But efforts to restore the civil
unions ban and place the measure back on track for a November public vote
stalled in private meetings of the Senate Republican Caucus.
Sen. Mike Delph,
R-Carmel, blamed Senate leadership for keeping the issue from the ballot.
Senate President Pro Tem David Long has said he did not try to influence
anyone’s vote and only wanted the ban to be considered by the full Senate.
their leaders within the Indiana General Assembly were told that the
Marriage Amendment would move quickly and that the voters would get a chance
to vote in 2014 and the issue would be resolved once and for all whichever
way the public ultimately voted,” Delph said in a Statehouse news