National Organization for Marriage is pleading with its dwindling supporters to contact their state senators in Indiana regarding HJR3 – the proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.
This issue was originally voted on in 2011. To make it to the ballot, for voters to decide the matter, in 2014, it has to be passed again, by both houses of the state legislature, with the exact same language. Last week the Indiana House passed the bill with one paragraph (banning civil unions) removed from the original text.
The Senate could try to restore the language and it would go back to the House where it might not pass. The more likely scenario is that the Senate will vote on the bill as is in which case it will be on the ballot in 2016. By then it seems quite possible that such amendments will be deemed unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court.
It is possible that Republicans intentionally sabotaged their own bill. Aside from rapidly changing views on same-sex marriage Indiana businesses and the Chamber of Commerce are opposed to this legislation. It might make God happy but it’s not good for business. The change in the House might have been a coordinated effort to delay the matter while not completely dispatching the religious right to apoplexy. Business funds the GOP. However, the religious right (conservative Christians) provide the election machinery of making calls, ringing doorbells and stuffing envelopes.
So here comes NOM with “Time for a Full Court Press, Hoosiers.” Desperate for a win after so many losses at the ballot and in court, they are pleading with their supporters to contact their senators to restore the language in the bill. Aside from getting this on the ballot this year, reinserting the ban on civil unions also coincides with the teachings of the Catholic Church (NOM’s sponsor) which forbids recognition of same-sex unions in any form. Moreover, a ballot contest this year keeps NOM relevant for a little while longer.
It’s impossible to tell what is going to happen in Indiana in the short term. What I do know is that, ultimately, Indiana, like the rest of the nation, will become a marriage equality state. It’s inevitable.