As the Indiana General Assembly kicks off its 2013 session, a key question is whether lawmakers will vote on a measure that would amend a ban on same-sex marriage, civil unions or anything like them into the state’s constitution.
A clergy group called the Interfaith Coalition on Nondiscrimination weighed in Sunday night with a letter signed by 230 religious leaders. It asks lawmakers to take no further action on what the group calls the “marriage discrimination amendment.”
“We as faith leaders ask the legislature to concentrate on matters which deserve attention,” said Rev. Marie Siroky, a United Church of Christ ordained minister and president of the coalition. “Religious freedom allows each faith community and denomination to decide for themselves the tenets of their faith, including marriage. Laws cannot be made based on one particular religious view. There is no common-sense reason to devote weeks of attention to this amendment when Hoosiers need a new budget, jobs and we have a new governor building a new administration.”
The constitutional same-sex marriage ban passed the House and Senate in 2011, and if it does so again in 2013 or 2014 in the exact same form, then the third and final step of the amendment process would be a statewide referendum in November 2014.