A strong majority of representatives signed a petition calling on Speaker Bauer and Rep. Pelath, chairman of the House Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee, to allow SJR 7 the opportunity to be heard and voted on by the Indiana General Assembly. Pelath said last week he did not plan to give the resolution a hearing in committee.
"I believe Hoosiers have the right to vote on this measure," said Rep. Rich McClain (R-Logansport). "By denying the House an opportunity to even hear the amendment, Speaker Bauer has effectively squashed any discussion. Marriage has long been considered a cornerstone of our society, and I support preserving traditional marriage between one man and one woman."
In order for this amendment to be added to the state constitution, it will have to pass two separately elected General Assemblies and then be approved by the public as a statewide voter referendum on the next general election ballot. Ultimately, Hoosiers will have the final say in strengthening the definition of marriage in Indiana.
Three years ago, 76 state representatives voted for the amendment receiving overwhelming bipartisan support. November 2008 would be the first time the amendment could be voted on if SJR 7 passed this session.
Earlier this session, the Senate passed SJR 7 by a 39-9 vote.
In order for the measure to pass out of the House this session, a committee report on the amendment must be adopted by 10 a.m. Feb. 21, and be passed by the House before the Feb. 27 deadline.