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Pence Wants to Change Same Sex Marriage Proposal

Governor Mike Pence says he wants HJR-3’s second sentence put back in the amendment after House  lawmakers removed it this week. Pence’s  comments could impact the future of the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex  marriage.

In comments made to WISH-TV in Indianapolis this week, Governor Pence was clear. He wants  lawmakers to end the marriage debate this year and reinsert HJR-3’s second sentence, which outlaws  civil unions.

Some believe it could prohibit domestic partnership benefits and 23 House Republicans  joined Democrats to delete it from the measure. Removing the sentence also restarts the ratification  process, potentially sending HJR-3 to voters in 2016, not this fall. 

Indiana Democratic Party Chair John  Zody says Pence’s comments represent an old-fashioned agenda and send the wrong message. 

“And why doesn’t he want it on the ballot when he’s said he’s going to run for reelection in 2016? Zody said. "He’s sort of dragging politics into a debate that has to do with the rights and abilities of Hoosiers to live here  and work here and earn the benefits that we all feel that we’re entitled to.” 

HJR-3 is in the Senate, where lawmakers could consider reinserting the second sentence.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long says he hasn’t spoken with the governor about the issue. “He does not have a veto in this, as you all know as well. This is not something that goes to the governor  for signature. So it’s not his call on this,” Long says.

Long says he wants to move HJR-3 out of committee without any changes, waiting until it reaches the full Senate for potential action to reinsert the second sentence. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.