Gay marriage debate on hold

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It's official. There will be no gay marriage debate in the Indiana General Assembly this year.

Legislative leaders made a joint announcement to put the debate on hold in a decision that was telegraphed a week ago. State Senate GOP Leader David Long said he asked Senate Republicans to vote on a delay. 

"It was the overwhelming decision by our caucus to wait until 2014," he said. 

House Speaker Brian Bosma said he was never in favor of a gay marriage debate this year. 

"It is advisable to hold at this point," said Bosma. "Wait to see what the Supreme Court is going to do." 

The U.S. Supreme Court will rule in coming months on a same sex marriage ban in California.

It all means that the measure to put a ban on same sex marriage in the Indiana Constitution must be acted on next year if it's to be the subject of 2014 referendum. Opponents of the ban are preparing for battle. 

"Starting 320 days from today is the convening of the next session," said Rick Sutton of Indiana Equality.  "We have 320 days to convince legislators to be on our side."

The public is already moving that direction according to the recent WISH-TV / Ball State Hoosier Survery.
It found 54 percent opposed to the ban and just 38 percent in support.

The survey uncovered a 45 percent to 45 percent tie on the question of legalizing same sex marriage.

The opinions of lawmakers are changing, too. 

"Some legislators that supported it in 2011 are having second thoughts about it," said Bosma, "and re-examining the issue."

The ban would also prevent civil unions and the Hoosier Survey found 55 percent  in favor of civil unions.  Speaker Bosma says he still thinks the ban on same sex marriage will pass the General Assembly next year. 

He did, however, say that if he was drafting it now he would change the portion that prohibits civil unions.

Opponents of the ban say that time is their friend. They just gained a year.

Copyright 2014 WISH TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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