“It’s not enough to just define marriage in an amendment like this. You have to defend marriage,” Smith said. “That’s the lesson from the courts.”
One of the potentially most influential voices, Republican Gov. Mike Pence, has largely removed himself from the debate, saying he supports reinserting the “second sentence” but will not be talking about the issue again until after the 2014 session ends.
Supporters of the ban showed up at the Statehouse Monday in larger numbers, in part with the help of African American church leaders who have mobilized recently. But they were still outnumbered by opponents, wearing red clothes, as they have throughout the Statehouse fight, to signify their opposition.
Jennifer Fisher, a recruiter in Fort Wayne, asked lawmakers to consider the personal implications of the ban for gay couples raising a family. She noted that she and her partner, a police officer from Fort Wayne, would like to have children at some point, but their legal standing in Indiana puts her in risk of losing their children.
“If she is killed in the line of duty, someone could take away my family,” she said.
The full Senate could take up debate on the marriage ban as soon as Thursday.