[r47] 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 B. Patrick Bauer (D-South Bend) and Rep. Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) to give Senate Joint Resolution 7, the Defense of Marriage Amendment, a hearing before the full House.

"Hoosiers have shown great support on this issue, and want to be able to vote on it," said Rep. Ralph M. Foley (R-Martinsville). "By giving SJR 7 the chance to be heard and voted on, Indiana will be given that opportunity. The state of Indiana's Constitution should uphold the sanctity of marriage between one man and one woman, as I plan to do, if this measure comes to the floor."

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. Rep. Pelath said last week he did not plan to give the resolution a hearing in committee.

In order for this amendment to be a part of 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. Otherwise, the entire process is lost and must start all over.