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State and Local Officials Weigh in on Marriage Amendment

HJR3 has left committee, and is one step closer to finding its way to the ballot this fall. The proposed amendment would change the Indiana Constitution, adding that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.
It's a bill that's gotten a lot of discussion across Indiana -- and one that will impact the entire state.
   
HJR3 would change the state constitution, allowing marriage only between a man and a woman.

It's changed names, and committees, but the essence is still the same: the new law would re-write the State Constitution, and the definition for marriage.

HJR3  has left committee, and is one step closer to finding its way to the ballot this fall.
   
The proposed amendment would change the Indiana Constitution, adding that marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

"I feel like it should to go to the voters this fall, and let them decide whether or not they want to put it in the [State] Constitution or not," said State Representative Bob Heaton (R).

But not everyone agrees, because the bill could effect more than just marriage.
 
Terre Haute City Councilman Todd Nation has proposed a resolution, asking the council to oppose the bill.

"This is about business development, it's about wise stewardship of Hoosier tax dollars, it's about wise usage of legislative time and energy," said Nation.

Many, like Nation, worry that businesses and employees won't want to come to Indiana if the bill is passed, especially when Illinois just legalized same-sex marriages.

"I think that sending a message of intolerance, a mean-spirited message like some of what is contained in the proposed constitutional amendment, is not going to help," said Nation.

For the supporters of same-sex marriage, this bill is a big step back when it comes to equality.

"They don't want to simply not recognize same-sex marriages, or civil unions, but they also want to make sure it's put into the constitution so that it's even harder to overturn later," said gay rights advocate Neil Ward.

And advocates hope voters and legislators alike can set the state onto a new path for the future.

"I really hope that in my lifetime I do see this change. Everyone doesn't care if you're gay or straight or bisexual. If you're black or white, or male or female. We are all just human, we all want the same thing, we're not all going to agree on it, but we are all in title to the same thing. All men are created equal and I think it's time that people started acting like that," said Ward.

HJR3 has left committee and has been sent to the House.
   
It could be voted on as early as next week.
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