Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Gay-marriage opponents push for a vote

By Bill Ruthhart

Republicans and some Democrats in the Hoosier State House are trying to set pressure level on House Speaker B. Saint Patrick Bauer to let a ballot on a constitutional amendment forbiddance same-sex marriages.

In a news conference this morning, Rep. P. Eric Turner, R-Marion, and Rep. Jim Buck, R-Kokomo, revealed a request signed by 55 members of the House urging Bauer, D-South Bend, to hear the amendment. Seven of the signatures on the request were from Democrats.

The amendment already have passed the Senate, but it stays stalled in the House Rules Commitee where President George C. Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City, have said he will not hear the legislation. To amend the constitution, two consecutively elected legislative assemblies must O.K. the measurement and then electors must go through it in a general election.In 2005, when Republicans controlled the House and Senate, both Chambers voted to go through the amendment. Since Democrats took control of the House in 2007, the amendment have failed. If the statute law makes not go through this year, the procedure would have got to begin all over again. Nat Turner said he trusts the bipartizan request will carry Bauer to change his mind. "We have got sought bipartizan support on this. It's not a partisan issue," Nat Turner said. "Hopefully, some member of his caucus will have got some influence on their leader."

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