— A poll of the 100 members of the Indiana House shows 38 plan to vote for
a proposed constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage and 38 plan
to vote against it, a newspaper report said Sunday.
representatives were undecided how they would vote on the measure and 11
refused to answer the poll, done by The Indianapolis Star.
reveal how support has dwindled for the proposed amendment, which the
House approved 70-26 in 2011.
The measure needs
51 votes to win approval in the Republican-led House. If it clears both
the House and the Indiana Senate, it will go before Indiana voters in
it would be closer this time than in 2011," said Andy Downs, director of
the Mike Downs Center for Indiana Politics at Indiana University-Purdue
University Fort Wayne. "But this is a lot closer than I think people would
of the amendment acknowledge votes have been lost.
consistent with what we're hearing," Indiana Family Institute Director
Curt Smith said. "I think it's tightening."
Smith said he is
"guardedly optimistic" the amendment will win approval.
already bans same-sex marriage, but backers of the proposed amendment say
it's needed to ensure the courts don't throw out the law.
campaign manager for Freedom Indiana, which opposes the amendment, said
the expected narrow vote "shows how divisive it is, which is why it
shouldn't be put into our constitution."
Smith said his
group has been telling Republican lawmakers that they're "inviting a
primary challenge" if they don't vote for the amendment.
second sentence, which also would ban civil unions and other similar
arrangements, has left some Republicans saying they won't vote for the
measure unless it is removed.
"If an amendment
were to be brought up to remove the second sentence I will fully support
this resolution," said Rep. Wendy McNamara, R-Mount Vernon. "If the second
sentence remains, I will not support the resolution."
also is a concern for many undecided lawmakers, including Rep. Kevin
Mahan, R-Hartford City, who voted yes in 2011. The second sentence, he
said, "gives me heartburn and gives many of my constituents heartburn."
Both parties will
have an opportunity to offer changes to the resolution when it comes to
the House floor, perhaps as early as Monday. So far, no Republican has
offered a proposal to strike the second sentence.
Rep. Dan Leonard,
R-Huntington, who plans to vote "no" because of the sentence, said he
would be surprised if any Republican proposes a change, given the pressure
from the caucus leadership to pass the resolution in its current form.
supporters don't want any changes to the resolution because it would
require another, separately elected General Assembly to approve the
revised amendment. That would delay a referendum on the amendment for at
least another year.