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Why The HJR-3 Marriage Amendment Vote Was Delayed

After hours of testimony before a House committee, a vote on the same sex marriage amendment, HJR-3, was postponed.

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Photo: Brandon Smith, IPBS

The House committee hearing testimony on HJR-3 postponed the vote Monday.

In a surprise move, a House committee chairman Monday decided not to hold a vote on the proposed constitutional amendment banning same sex marriage, after the committee heard hours of testimony.

The House Judiciary Committee’s hearing on HJR-3 and its companion bill was held in the House chamber.  The full House was scheduled to begin session at 1:30 but the committee hearing went beyond that time.  Committee chairman Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon) says that was part of the reasoning behind his decision to postpone a vote.

“I’d heard from a number of committee members – they wanted time to reflect on the testimony,” Steuerwald said. “We had a lot of great testimony today, very involved and detailed testimony, and I fully understand.  I’d like to digest it myself a little bit more.”

But some Democrats on the committee say there may be another motive behind the postponement. Rep. Ed DeLaney (D-Indianapolis) says there’s confusion surrounding the companion bill, which proponents say is meant to clarify what the amendment does and does not prohibit.

“This tactic of proposing a statute that would explain a constitutional amendment has sort of backfired and maybe they’re reconsidering that – that’s another alternative here,” DeLaney said. “They may just want to pull back on that, just go on the amendment by itself.”

Steuerwald says while he plans to reconvene the committee and take a vote, he says he doesn’t know when that will happen.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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