Victory in Indiana: Harmful amendment will not be on the ballot this November
February 13, 2014
This afternoon, February 13, the Indiana Senate held its second reading on the damaging proposed constitutional amendment, HJR-3, which sought to ban same-sex couples from marrying in Indiana. During the reading, no amendments - including an amendment to restore the amendment's original second sentence (which would have further banned same-sex couples from entering any form of family status, including civil union or domestic partnership) - were introduced, meaning that HJR-3 will NOT be on the ballot in Indiana this November.
The bill in its current iteration will not be considered again until next year. There is still work to do to defeat HJR-3, but today's move to ensure that it will not appear on the ballot in 2014 is an enormous victory, and a huge step forward.
Freedom to Marry founder and president Evan Wolfson applauded the vote today. He said:
Today's action is a welcome step back from the brink, ensuring that Indiana’s families will not be subjected to a harsh campaign that would add cruel and unconstitutional language to Indiana’s state constitution this November. This reflects the growing momentum for the freedom to marry the person you love, and a repudiation of the effort to strip gay Hoosiers and their families of legal protections and respect.
This constitutional amendment still is a deeply flawed and unconstitutional measure that merits defeat and we urge the Senate to do the right thing and put an end to this misguided measure. Freedom to Marry will continue working alongside Freedom Indiana and our coalition partners through the end of this legislative session to try to persuade lawmakers to listen to the voices of families, business leaders, and others who want to see Indiana on the right side of history.
It's a big day in Indiana - just a few months ago, it was looking all but certain that the damaging amendment would be on the ballot. But fair-minded Hoosiers from across the state came together to form Freedom Indiana, the campaign to defeat HJR-3, and that coalition made all the difference. Over the past six months, Freedom Indiana has worked to rally Hoosiers into action, with countless calls made to elected officials, many rallies held to amplify opposition to the bill, and thousands of Hoosiers sharing their stories of how this would hurt their families.
Freedom to Marry is proud to have served as a leading and founding member of Freedom Indiana, and we look forward to continue working with the campaign until HJR-3 is officially defeated, for good.
Freedom Indiana Campaign Manager Megan Robertson issued a statement about the win today. She said:
What happened today at the Statehouse is a testament to the tens of thousands of Hoosiers who have shared their stories with lawmakers and with the public to show the harm this amendment would do to their families and our state. It's clear that lawmakers listened.
We continue to oppose the amendment in any form, but make no mistake: This is a huge victory.
We are grateful to lawmakers for their openness and transparency during this process, and we thank them for conducting the discourse in a civil, respectful manner. We also owe an incredible debt of gratitude to our coalition partners who believed in our mission from the outset and to the Hoosiers who selflessly gave their time, effort and resources to the campaign.
Today will go down in Indiana history as a win for freedom.
Read more about Freedom Indiana HERE.