Update: The state legislature’s 13-member Elections Committee has voted to advance the proposed gay-marriage amendment to a full floor vote in the House of Representatives. That vote could arrive as early as next week.
As they have for past hearings, members of Indiana’s LGBT population and more HJR-3 opponents dressed the part of citizens red-hot about a pressing issue today. As is their custom on the unofficial “gay day” at the Indiana State Fair each August, they sought to flood the Indiana Statehouse today in a sea of red.
Members of the state legislature’s Elections and Apportionment Committee held hearings starting at 3:30 p.m. today in which proponents and detractors of gay marriage both sounded off. The committee’s lawmakers hadn’t previously entertained the issue, but on Tuesday, Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican, performed a political manuever that took the proposed bill, House Joint Resolution 3, from the state’s Judiciary Committee and planted it squarely before a roster of legislators in whose keeping he thought it stands a better chance of passing.
If the Elections Committee moves the bill forward, it will go to a full floor vote in the state’s House of Representatives and may then be put before voters in a referendum on Nov. 4.
Earlier this week—in a deft move, perhaps, on Martin Luther King Jr. Day—the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s director announced his organization’s opposition to HJR-3 and an alignment with the Freedom Indiana coalition. “We firmly believe that [it] is bad for Indiana economically and runs counter to a culture of equality and compassion,” Charles Venable said in a statement. “That is why we are proud to join Freedom Indiana and stand with other leading cultural organizations and businesses across the state in opposition to the proposed amendment.”
The IMA’s Board of Governors unanimously approved that message. Venable himself married longtime partner Martin Webb recently in a civil ceremony in New York City.
Previously, businesses and organizations ranging from the Indy Chamber to clergy, and from large employers including Indiana University and Emmis Communications (IM‘s parent company), have come alongside the Freedom Indiana organization.