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House Minority Leader Scott Pelath Will File HJR-3 Amendment

HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage, will be up for a vote in the Indiana House next week.

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says he will file an amendment to HJR-3, the proposed constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

But Pelath says he isn’t sure he’ll offer his change when HJR-3 comes to the floor next week.

Pelath’s amendment would remove the second sentence from HJR-3, which bans a legal status “substantially similar” to marriage and has caused concern among some who believe it threatens domestic partnership benefits.

But Pelath says he and his caucus will decide whether to offer his amendment on the House floor, with Democrats’ ultimate goal being HJR-3’s total defeat.

“And if the sense is that it has a better chance of going away, either legislatively or at the ballot box, by letting it stay bad then that’s one approach,” Pelath says.

Pelath says he doesn’t know if any Republicans will offer changes to the bill.

Speaker Brian Bosma says he won’t block his members’ attempts to offer amendments:

“I think it’s abundantly clear I haven’t asked one person to do one thing on this bill other than vote their conscience,” Bosma says.

There are still questions whether removing the second sentence would force the ratification process to restart, potentially putting HJR-3 on the ballot not this fall but in 2016.

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