Senate kills referendum until 2016

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Senate voted Monday to amend the state constitution by banning gay marriage, but it will be 2016 at the earliest before the measure appears on a statewide ballot because of a late change that limits the scope of the ban.

By voting 32-17 in favor of the diluted measure, senators finished the Legislature’s work on an effort to add the state’s current gay marriage ban to the Indiana Constitution. But because an original plan approved in 2011 prohibited civil unions as well, lawmakers restarted on the process by voting last month to remove the civil union language from the proposed amendment.

As a result, a referendum that might that might have been held in November now must wait at least two more years.

Sen. Mike Crider, R-Greenfield, voted in favor of the measure though he said it was a hard choice to come to.

“You’re not going to make everyone happy. I’m already getting hate mail from people who think I voted the wrong way,” Crider said on his drive home from the Statehouse Monday evening. “It’s just one of those things you just do the best you can based on the information you have.”

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