(STATEHOUSE) - The controversial second sentence of a gay-marriage amendment to the constitution is gone for good.
Two weeks after the House deleted language banning not only same-sex marriage but civil unions, supporters in the Senate let the last opportunity to alter the amendment slide past, abandoning plans to try to add the provision back in. Opponents who had packed the hall outside the Senate chamber erupted in cheers as Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann gaveled the resolution closed to further changes.
President Pro Tem David Long declined to discuss why the provision wasn't called for debate, but Carmel Republican Mike Delph, one of two senators who had filed motions to restore the clause, tweeted that supporters didn't have the votes.
The non-vote means a Senate vote Monday on what now is a one-sentence amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman. Supporters who had hoped to send the amendment to voters this fall after 12 years of trying will have to wait until 2016.
Long calls the second sentence unnecessary and legally questionable, and says dropping it is the right thing to do.
Opponents plan to keep working phone banks over the weekend in hopes of killing the amendment entirely.
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