(AP) — Indiana's Republican House and Senate leaders said Thursday they
will wait a year before they take up an effort to write a gay marriage ban
into the state's constitution.
Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long said their respective
caucuses decided the issue should wait until the 2014 session.
Wayne, and Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said they still support the amendment
and believe it will win approval from lawmakers and voters, but they are
wary of taking on the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court rules on related
cases this summer.
inadvisable to even have that discussion at the moment, despite the
importance of the issue, until the Supreme Court has given a red light or
a green light," Bosma said.
conservatives in the House and Senate had pressed them to tackle the issue
The first case
before the Supreme Court involves California's constitutional amendment
that forbids same-sex marriage. The second concerns a federal law that
denies gay couples who legally marry the right to obtain federal benefits
available to heterosexual married couples.
is currently allowed in nine states — Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Maryland,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Vermont, and Washington— and the
District of Columbia.
lawmakers approved the constitutional ban in 2011 despite arguments from
opponents that it was unnecessary because state law already limits
marriage to being between one man and one woman. Supporters of writing the
ban into the Indiana Constitution have said a judge could approve gay
marriage by overturning state law.
state's constitutional amendment process, lawmakers have until next year
to consider putting the marriage ban before voters. The measure must pass
the Legislature again before it can be put on a ballot.
decision means supporters of gay marriage and benefits for gay couples can
rest easy for a year. Indiana Equality Action President Rick Sutton
thanked Bosma and Long following the announcement.
happy today," Sutton said.