Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Columns

February 17, 2014

TOM LoBIANCO: A Hoosier marriage debate, mostly in private

Will senators speak on constitutional ban during today's vote?

(Continued)

But not all of the debate occurred behind closed doors.

House Republicans spent much of January in private meetings debating a second sentence to the proposed amendment that barred civil unions and raised questions about whether employers would be prohibited from offering benefits to same-sex couples.

While they didn’t comment on those discussions, House lawmakers did hold an impassioned public debate during which many spoke of their personal faith and struggles with the issue before voting to strip that sentence from the amendment.

The Senate, which supported the House’s version, will still have a shot to lay out its reasoning today, when the ban comes up for a final vote in that chamber. But if senators follow last week’s example, the public may never know what happened to sway them.

Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, isn’t shedding any light on the caucus discussions. He even took Sen. Mike Delph to task for tweeting about the meeting.

“We can’t talk about caucus,” Long said. “Just so you know on this one thing, it’s our rule that we don’t discuss what goes on in caucus. You know, that’s private, and to the extent that anything was said today, that’s a breach of our normal protocol.”

Tom LoBianco covers Indiana politics for The Associated Press. Follow him on Twitter @tomlobianco.

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