Same-sex marriage amendment vote sparks heated debate, rally

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As the battle over same-sex marriage heats up inside state lines, Hoosiers remain divided over the hot-button issue. The controversial topic was front and center Monday, as both sides had their voices heard.

The House Judiciary Committee chairman decided to delay the vote on HJR-3 after several members demanded more time to reflect on the nearly four hours of testimony from lawmakers, faith leaders, universities and some of Indiana’s top employers.

“Top talent might choose to go to other states that may be deemed more tolerant, and these states are also home to our largest competitors,” said Steve Fry, Eli Lilly.

Supporters of HJR-3 also urged state legislators to let the voters decide.

“We already have a law against it now so I don’t understand why putting it in the constitution would change that because it’s already law. That’s one thing I’ve never understood,” said Rep. Greg Steuerwald, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, R-Danville.

Hundreds of opponents filled the House Chamber balcony. Hours later, Freedom Indiana hosted a rally at the Indianapolis Artsgarden.

“I have a lot of faith that we can defeat [HJR-3],” said Alicia Lamagdeleine, who opposes the amendment. “This could be the moment. The tide is turning and hopefully in our favor.”

Lamagdeleine and her partner, Suellen Sharp, brought their 5-year-old daughter, Parker, to the rally. The couple plans on celebrating their 15th anniversary this fall by getting married in New Hampshire.

“I’m glad there’s still hope,” said Sharp. “I wish they had voted not to go through with it, but delayed is not denied.”

A new date will be set for the House committee to vote on the resolution. It will then go to the full House and Senate for approval to determine if voters get to see the issue on the November ballot.