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House Passes Gay-Marriage Ban

Last updated on Wednesday, January 29, 2014

(STATEHOUSE) - The House has passed the newly slimmed-down version of a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage.

The vote was 57-40, with 11 Republicans joining all Democrats present in voting no.

12 more Republicans had voted Monday to delete a second sentence banning civil unions too, but Crown Point Democrat Shelli VanDenburgh predicts the Senate will restore that sentence. She challenged legislators to end the debate by killing even the revised amendment.

Cicero Republican Eric Turner, the amendment's author, says seven states have had marriage laws thrown out in court. He notes the push for a constitutional ban began only after an unsuccessful court challenge to Indiana's law.

If the Senate passes the revised amendment, it would delay a final referendum until 2016.

Republican Representatives Dan Leonard of Huntington and Wendy McNamara of Mount Vernon have already been quoted declaring they'll switch their votes to no if the second sentence is restored. That means opponents would have to gain five votes from the 10 remaining Republicans who supported both the removal of the civil-union clause and the one-sentence version of the amendment.

Backers could pick up extra votes from two undecided Democrats and one Republican supporter who were absent for Tuesday's vote.

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