Republicans in the Indiana legislature are ramping up efforts to enshrine discrimination in the state constitution. A proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage passed the House Judiciary Committee, reports the Chicago Tribune.
A GOP-ruled House committee voted 8-4 along party lines today to advance the proposal, which now moves to the full House for consideration. The amendment states that only marriage between one man and one woman is valid in Indiana, and prohibits civil unions by stating that a legal status "substantially similar" to marriage for unmarried people is not valid.
Constitutional amendments must go through two separate Legislatures before being put to a public vote, and an amendment banning gay marriage passed the General Assembly in 2005 when Republicans controlled the House and Senate. But in 2006, Democrats won control of the House and the proposal never cleared that chamber again, although some Democrats support the amendment.
The measure moves to the full House where approval is expected. It would then head to the Republican-led Senate, "where it has met little resistance in previous years." The proposal would also have to pass both chambers in 2013 or 2014 to be qualified for the 2014 ballot.