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ADVANCE INDIANA has just reported that by a 5 to 5 vote the Indiana marriage amendment was killed in the House Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee.   Advance Indiana reports that the republican members had insisted that there would should be no amendments to the amendment nor that the offending second sentence which would prohibit the constitution (via the courts) or any state law from being construed to confer the legal incidents of marriage upon any unmarried couple.   This left the representatives with a "deeply-flawed amendment" of vague language which left a number of unanswerable legal and constitutional questions.  "Members were particularly concerned about what all the term "legal incidents of marriage" entailed and worried about the negative impact it could have on our domestic violence laws as has happened in the state of Ohio [Advance Indiana]."   

And there were many in Indiana who had said the amendment would be detrimental to many business interests.   “House Democrats took a stand today against ill-crafted legislation that would have done more harm than good,” Parker said. “This wasn’t a vote against traditional marriage; it was a vote for protecting vulnerable Hoosiers and promoting job growth [Advance Indiana].”

Among those businesses which spoke out against the amendment were: Eli Lilly, the pharmaceutical maker; E.I. Cummins, a diesel engine manufacturer; Wellpoint Health Networks; Dow AgroSciences; and Emmis Communications.   Other interests which spoke against the amendment were the universities of Indiana and Purdue; all speaking against that wording which similar in other states - most notably nearby Michigan and Ohio - had been detrimental to the allowance of benefits to partners of gay persons.   But that is what the republican writers of the amendment certainly intended for it to do based upon other bills they have introduced.  Although they continued to insist that the second sentence would have no bearing on such benefits.  

As I writ this there has not been a news report either on the local TV news or online concerning the vote.   For a marriage amendment to now become the law of the land of Indiana it must pass again two different legislatures voted on by the electorate.   It could be brought up and passed in the Indiana House next session, but that appears to not be doable.    If so that would put the popular vote off until 2010!!   What a win!   The republicans are using this more for political gain than anything else.   

Just in the last 15 minutes a number of articles have been published online (Google: Gay Indiana), such as:   Same-sex marriage ban defeated - The Indianapolis Star; Panel fails to advance amendment to ban gay marriage - Fort Wayne News Sentinel; Indiana's same-sex marriage constitutional amendment defeated - the Journal & Courier; and House committee stalls on constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage - TV station WTHR.  

WTHR reports that Rep. Terri Austin (D-Anderson) gave a tearful explanation of her vote. "I hope that when I leave here, nobody goes out and says, Representative Terri Austin supports gay marriage, because it's not true and everybody knows it. But I also am not gonna be reckless in wanton in my decisions that affect the lives of six million Hoosiers. I have cried over this. I have prayed over it. I have sought the advice of everybody I know to try to make a decision that's right in my heart and I know some people are gonna be disappointed in me and I'll accept it. And I'm gonna lose the respect of folks that I hold dear, but with that, Mr. Chairman, and for those reasons, and because we are unwilling to give this issue more time right now, which I hope we can, I'm gonna vote no," said Austin.

Thank you Representative Austin for your candor and heartfelt understanding of the problems and discriminatory nature that this amendment represented.   Also thanks to your fellow democrats who bravely voted no, Rep. Scott Pelath, Rep. Russ Stilwell, Rep. Earl Harris and Rep. Bob Kuzman.