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Indiana Governor urges lawmakers to pass ban on gay marriage this year

Indiana Governor urges lawmakers to pass ban on gay marriage this year

Indiana’s Republican governor made clear on Friday (31 January) that he wants to see the state legislature pass a proposed constitutional marriage ban bill as soon as possible.

‘I just think this is an issue that we would all do well to resolve once and for all this year,’ Governor Mike Pence said in an interview with WISH-TV.

But the bill suffered a major setback this week when the state’s House of Representatives voted 52-43 to amend it by removing its most controversial provision which also banned civil unions and domestic partnerships.

The governor indicated he’s like the controversial provision put back in.

‘Let me say I support traditional marriage, and I expressed support for the resolution that the legislature passed during the last session and considered at the outset of this session,’ Pence said.

But representatives from both parties expressed concern about the language that prohibits any legal relationship that is ‘identical or substantially similar’ to marriage.

This could jeopardize, opponents say, things that are currently available to same-sex couples including health benefits and hospital visitation.

Any change in the original bill means the soonest it could be voted on by the public is 2016. In its original form, it can be on the ballot this November.

Although same-sex marriage is already illegal in Indiana, the bill seeks to amend the state constitution to define marriage as being between one man and one woman.