US: Indiana Senate advances bill to ban same-sex marriage

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A bill to ban same-sex couples from marrying in the US state of Indiana has passed a Senate vote, but won’t go to a ballot this year as it has been altered.

The Indiana Senate in March 2011 approved the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages and civil unions by 40 votes to 10. The public gallery had to be cleared after gay rights protesters shouted at politicians.

The House in January passed Joint Resolution 3, with 57 votes to 40, but not before a sentence was removed from the bill which would have included civil unions and cohabiting same-sex couples under a blanket ban.

The Senate declined to re-add the sentence before it voted 37-17 to pass the measure.

This change means the bill which was advanced by the Senate this week is different to the 2011 bill.

In order for the measure to be enacted, it must be approved in two consecutive legislative sessions, and then placed on a ballot.

Supporters of the bill hope that it will be taken up again next year.