Indiana Same-Sex Marriage Amendment Delayed For Years

The state's legislature passed a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, but it likely won't see its way to voters until 2016.

Indiana Same-Sex Marriage Amendment Delayed For Years
The Indianapolis Star / Charlie Nye

Indiana's state lawmakers approved a constitutional amendment Monday banning same-sex marriage, but gay rights supporters aren't all that upset about it. Sound confusing? (Via The Indianapolis Star, The Wire, The New York Times)

Well, it is kind of confusing. Indiana's conservative legislature did approve a resolution banning same-sex marriage today. But they also passed a slightly different same-sex marriage ban in 2011 — which turns back the clock on the whole process.

Indiana requires two separately-elected legislatures to pass a constitutional amendment before it's even put on a ballot for voters. Because 2011's bill also banned civil unions — and this year's Senate didn't want to go that far — Monday's vote puts the fight for a same-sex marriage ban back at the starting line. Speaking to WRTV, people on both sides of the debate walked away with mixed feelings. (Via WISH)

"We've not lost any ground here in Indiana. We just haven't secured the additional protections for marriage and family."

"I'm disappointed. I thought there was a chance it could be struck down today."

So, to put a same-sex marriage ban in front of voters on a November ballot, Indiana lawmakers elected this fall will have to pass a bill identical to Monday's legislation in either 2015 or 2016.

As is, 33 states ban same-sex marriage. Those are seen in red here. You can see Indiana is already light red, meaning a statute in state law bans same-sex marriage. Conservatives just want it in the state Constitution, too. (Via Wikimedia Commons)

But gay rights advocates say delaying a statewide referendum on the issue for two more years will give them enough time to sway public opinion in their favor.

After all, the trend lately has been a series of laws allowing same-sex marriage: Minnesota last August, Hawaii in December and Illinois' law becomes effective in June. (Via KMSP, Hawaii News Now)