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Indiana, Unbowed By Supreme Court DOMA Ruling, Seeks Gay Marriage Ban Anyway

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 28, 2013 7:35PM

Photo credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The United States Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this week in United States v. Windsor that ruled the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional opens the door for a spirited debate over same-sex marriage in Indiana, where lawmakers opposed to marriage equality hope to call for a vote on solidifying the state’s ban on same-sex marriage with an amendment to the state Constitution in the next legislative session.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence supports the measure and said voters in the Hoosier state should decide on the amendment in 2014. While the Supreme Court’s rulings struck down a ban on federal benefits for same-sex couples and effectively dismissed a ban on same-sex marriage in California, it did leave in place state laws defining marriage as being a union of man and woman. House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) and Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne) said they would quickly move to take up the ban when the Legislature returns for its fall session.

Pence, speaking on the issue for the first time as governor, expressed confidence voters would side with him. "I am confident that Hoosiers will reaffirm our commitment to traditional marriage and will consider this important question with civility and respect for the values and dignity of all of the people of our state,” he said. “I look forward to supporting efforts by members of the Indiana General Assembly to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot for voter consideration next year.”

Bosma added, "The members of the General Assembly will be fully equipped to address the issue of the constitutional amendment in the coming legislative session, and with today's decision, I am confident the matter will come before the General Assembly and ultimately be placed on a referenda ballot for voter consideration.”

Supporters of marriage equality in Indiana like House Minority Leader, Rep. Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City), believe the state and Pence have more pressing matters with which to concern themselves.

"For those who are under 40 years old, (marriage equality) is not even a debate," Pelath said. "So some of the more enlightened Republicans see that their continuing embrace of inequality is not going to be widely supported in the future."