HJR-3 passes committee, heads to Senate floor

Supporters and opponents packed outside the Senate chambers at the Indiana Statehouse for the gay marriage debate on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (WLFI Photo)
Supporters and opponents packed outside the Senate chambers at the Indiana Statehouse for the gay marriage debate on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014. (WLFI Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WLFI) – After more than three hours of testimony from both sides, the Senate Rules Committee has passed House Joint Resolution 3.

The committee passed the marriage amendment 8 to 4 Monday. The 8 “yes’s” were all Republicans, including Senator Brandt Hershman.

Plenty of opponents shared personal stories of how the ban on same-marriage would affect them.

“What is the true impact for you? The true impact for me is the potential to lose everything that I love,” said Jennifer Fishers.

“I was born and raised in Indiana. I’m a 7th generation Hoosier, but I feel that there is no need for me to stay if I can’t be treated as an equal in my own home state,” said Ryan Pranger.

Most of the debate between supporters and opponents, had to do with the second sentence that was removed in the Indiana House. That sentence would outlaw civil unions.

“We believe it’s important to do that because it’s not enough to define marriage in an amendment like this, you have to defend marriage. That’s the lesson from the courts around the country,” said Curt Smith of the Indiana Family Institute.

“For those who want freedom from same-sex desires, it’s possible, I’m living proof. I say all of this as someone who used to identify as a lesbian, but now strongly believes the government should continue to recognize marriage as only the union of one man and one woman,” said Reverend Desmond Dobbins.

If the second sentence is restored, there can be a referendum this year. If not, a referendum would wait until at least 2016. The full Senate is set to debate HJR-3 Thursday.

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