News and Tribune


January 16, 2013

THEIR OPINION: Recent editorials published in Indiana newspapers


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— Tribune-Star, Terre Haute


Might let the courts finish first on gay marriage, school vouchers

We detect some ants in the pants down at the Statehouse.

Some legislators seem determined to press forward on two controversial issues — a gay marriage ban and Indiana’s school voucher program — even as the high courts weigh matters that could change the landscape on both.

This week, state Rep. Eric Turner, R-Cicero, made it clear that he would file a measure proposing a statewide ballot question about whether to put the state’s ban on same-sex marriage into the Indiana Constitution.

The Legislature, actually, is halfway home on this one. Constitutional questions must be approved in consecutive General Assemblies. The same-sex marriage ban question was approved in 2011, the first year of the previous two-year General Assembly. That leaves 2013 or 2014 for the second vote in this edition of the General Assembly. If it is approved by the House and the Senate, voters would get the question on a November ballot.

We’ve contended that the constitutional amendment is overkill, at best. Indiana already has a law that prevents same-sex marriage. Planting that law in the Constitution does little except to show that Hoosiers can be vindictive, as well as intolerant.

Beyond that, it only makes sense for the state to wait at least for the U.S. Supreme Court, which has promised to take up two cases dealing with gay marriage in 2013. What sense does it make to force referendums on something that could be ruled unconstitutional in the meantime?

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