UPDATE II: The testimony has concluded. The committee’s vote has been postponed and will not be held today.
A committee of the Indiana House is just a few hours away from possibly advancing a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Via the Indianapolis Star:
A panel of 13 lawmakers on the House Judiciary Committee is expected to take about two-and-a-half hours of testimony before taking a vote. If approved,the amendment would move to the full House for a vote, perhaps as early as this week. The committee also will be considering a companion bill intended to clarify the amendment’s intent. That measure states that the amendment is not intended to deny employer health benefits to same-sex couples or to circumvent local ordinances that forbid discrimination.
Supporters are hoping the companion bill will help reassure lawmakers who are concerned about the amendment’s second sentence, which also bans civil unions or other arrangements “substantially similar” to marriage. The committee’s four Democrats are expected to vote against the amendment, but three Republicans would have to join them to defeat it. Most observers say that’s unlikely.
Still, three GOP lawmakers – Reps. Daniel Leonard of Huntington, Wendy McNamara of Mount Vernon, and Rep. Jerry Torr of Carmel – have said they’re undecided. Groups on both sides of the issue have been lobbying and applying pressure for months. They are expected to be well represented at the hearing, which will take place in the House chambers at the Indiana Statehouse.
The committee convenes at 10am Eastern. Freedom Indiana urges you to contact your legislators. They have packed the gallery with pro-gay supporters.