Indiana seeks ban on same-sex marriage despite historic ruling

June 27, 2013

(Flickr/gairid1791)
An Indianapolis man protests for marriage equality in the conservative state of Indiana.

Despite the Supreme Court’s ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is supporting a measure that would ban gay marriage as part of the state constitution.

Same-sex marriage is already outlawed in Indiana, but Pence says voters should decide whether to solidify that with a vote on a state constitutional amendment in 2014.

“Now that the Supreme Court has had its say on the federal government’s role in defining marriage, the people of Indiana should have their say about how marriage is understood and defined in our state,” Pence said Wednesday. “Given that opportunity, 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. 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.”

Legislative leaders say they will push ahead with the effort after the Supreme Court handed down a pair of rulings leaving the marriage question with the states. Pence said he continues to support defining marriage as being between one man and one woman.

“Marriage matters. I believe marriage is the union between a man and a woman and is a unique institution worth defending in our state and nation. For thousands of years, marriage has served as the glue that holds families and societies together and so it should ever be,” Pence said in a statement.

If the constitutional ban passes the General Assembly next year, it would be placed on the Indiana ballot in 2014.

Indiana state Rep. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, says there are more important things the Governor and others should be worried about, like reducing unemployment.

“We need to fight for changes that make people’s  lives better not waste our people’s vitality on still more division,” Pelath said.

Follow WBEZ’s Northwest Indiana reporter Michael Puente on Twitter @MikePuenteNews.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.