[r32] Bipartisan Group Urges Reps. Bauer and Pelath to Hear SJR 7 (2/19/2008)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Start Date: 2/19/2008 All Day
End Date: 2/19/2008
(STATEHOUSE) Feb 19, 2008 - In a bipartisan effort, Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives called on Speaker Patrick D. Bauer (D-South Bend) and Rep. Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) to give Senate Joint Resolution, SJR 7, the Defense of Marriage Amendment, a hearing before the full House.

"I have received an overwhelming amount of support from the people of Indiana on this issue," said Rep. P. Eric Turner (R-Marion). "I will continue to defend Indiana's current state statute regarding marriage and fight to further protect it in our state constitution. Today is a historical event, having a bipartisan meeting urging a measure so important to our state and our country reflects legislators' goal to serve Hoosiers."

A strong majority of representatives signed a petition calling on Speaker Bauer and Rep. Pelath to allow SJR 7 the opportunity to be heard and voted on by the Indiana General Assembly.

"Since I have been a member of the House, I have served under four different speakers - two Democrats and two Republicans," said Rep. Jim Buck (R-Kokomo). "This is the first time I can recall that both sides have reached across the aisle to request a hearing on a measure that Speaker Bauer will not allow to be heard on the House floor. I am pleased to see both sides of this legislative body unite to request that the Defense of Marriage Amendment be heard."

In order for this amendment to be added to the state Constitution, it would 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 would have the final say in strengthening the definition of marriage in Indiana.

Three years ago, 76 state representatives voted for the amendment - overwhelming bipartisan support. November 2008 would be the first time Hoosiers could vote on the amendment 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 by the Feb. 27 deadline.