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Delph and HJR 3

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Delph and HJR 3


State Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, said Monday that he wants to use a procedural move to try to put a ban on civil unions back into a constitutional marriage amendment - although he's not sure the votes are there to approve it.

In a press conference in the Statehouse rotunda, Delph said he will vote against the measure if he's not successful restoring the original language to proposal.

Without the ban on civil unions, Delph said, the proposal does little if anything to legally protect traditional marriage.

"This is my preferred way to bring closure to this entire matter," Delph said. "Done in November 2014. Once and for all."

Delph's comments come four days after the Senate moved the constitutional amendment through its second reading amendment stage without changes.

Delph had planned to offer a proposal to add the civil unions ban back into the amendment but he said the Republican caucus decided against the move. Also, Delph acknowledged he didn't have the votes to make it happen.

Later, Delph exploded on Twitter, sending messages that criticized the evangelical community for failing to adequately support the constitutional amendment and defending his family against his opponents.

Then on Monday, he lashed out against Senate President Pro Tem David Long, saying that the Republican leader had promised the measure would go to the ballot for a vote this year. Instead, Delph said, Long made decisions that mean the marriage amendment couldn't make it on to the ballot now until at least 2016.

The General Assembly approved the amendment in 2011 with the civil unions ban intact. It had to be approved again this year to go on the ballot.

But the House this year stripped the civil unions ban out of the amendment. If that version is approved by the Senate on Monday, the amendment process restarts.

That means the new version would need to be approved by the General Assembly again in 2015 or 2016 to go on the ballot for ratification.

Lesley Weidenbener is executive editor at, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.