Republicans in Indiana’s state legislature are expected to make an announcement Thursday afternoon as to whether or not they will consider a controversial proposal to write a gay marriage ban into the state's constitution, according to a party official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the individual wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter before the public announcement.
Whatever decision is announced today could be a sign of things to come pertaining to how the state plans to move forward on social issues, especially with socially conservative Republican Governor Mike Pence now in office, and Republicans having a super majority in Indiana's state legislature.
House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long plan to announce if their respective chambers will take on the proposal about a ban on gay marriage.
Both have previously expressed apprehension about taking on the matter before the Supreme Court rules on related cases this summer, while social conservatives in the House and Senate have pressed them to take on the issue now – instead of waiting another year.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced plans last year to file an amicus brief with the Supreme Court defending California's ban on gay marriage.
The Supreme Court's decision to take up the controversial issue over gay marriage comes shortly after the first states in the nation approved it on statewide ballots.
Meanwhile, acknowledgement and acceptance of same-sex relationships is increasing across the board even though federal law still prohibits the federal government from recognizing any marriage unless it’s between a man and a woman, according to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act.
Yet many organizations, including large companies, local governments and even the military have grown increasingly accepting of same-sex partnerships, as evidenced when the Pentagon recently announced plans to extend benefits to same-sex partners, which includes health and welfare programs, as well as access to the on-base commissary and other military subsidized stores.