Indiana legislators are preparing for the next step toward passing a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage in the state, despite signs that public opinion on the issue is shifting.
In Indiana, a constitutional amendment must be approved twice by both houses of the legislature, then OK’d by voters. Lawmakers approved the anti–marriage equality amendment in 2011, and the next vote is required in 2013 or 2014. The voter referendum would then be in 2014.
Rep. Eric Turner, author of the amendment, recently told Indiana radio station WIBC that he’s not sure when he’ll resubmit the amendment, but he believes it will pass, and that when it goes before voters, they will approve it. Maine, Maryland, and Washington State, which approved marriage equality on Election Day, and Minnesota, which rejected an anti-equality amendment, are more liberal than Indiana, he said.
An October poll of Indiana voters found 48% in favor of the amendment, 45% opposed. The state already bans same-sex marriage by statute, but constitutional bans are harder to overcome.
Rick Sutton, executive director of the LGBT rights group Indiana Equality Action, told WIBC he expects the amendment to come up early in the legislative session and to pass, but he’s optimistic that voters will reject it. “He contends Hoosiers’ views of the issue have changed more than legislators realize,” WIBC reports.