Key lawmaker taking wait-and-see approach on gay marriage ban

The House committee chairman who will play a key role in Indiana’s same-sex marriage debate said lawmakers could wait on the U.S. Supreme Court to rule before taking up the issue.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, said “there has been no decision made” on whether the chamber will vote on a constitutional same-sex marriage ban during this year’s session, or wait until 2014.

“The lawyer in me understands that we like to hear what the Supreme Court says and gives their rulings on issues, which we have to abide by. So obviously that’s a pretty significant factor for us,” Steuerwald said.

He said if a lawmaker files a resolution on same-sex marriage and it’s assigned to the House Judiciary Committee, just like it was in 2011, he will decide how to proceed with “input from the entire (House Republican) caucus.”

“It would be a joint decision that I would make with the caucus, taking everybody’s input in mind. It would not simply be my decision,” Steuerwald said.

Lawmakers took the first step toward amending a ban on same-sex marriage, civil unions or any similar legal status into Indiana’s constitution in 2011. If they approve the exact same measure in either 2013 or 2014, voters will get the final say in a November 2014 referendum.

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