Delph disciplined for criticizing Senate leaders on gay marriage bill

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Senate leadership is now punishing one of its own members.

Eyewitness News has learned Senate President Pro-Tempore David Long (R-Fort Wayne) is disciplining Sen. Mike Delph (R-Carmel) for his critical comments regarding senate leadership's handling of HJR-3, the proposed amendment to ban gay marriage in Indiana.

Delph criticized fellow Republicans last week for not restoring controversial language in the amendment that would have banned civil unions. That language was removed by the House of Representatives, and Delph wanted his fellow senators to restore it in the hopes of sending the measure to the ballot this November. That did not happen.

According to sources at the Statehouse, Long – the target of much of Delph's criticism – has decided to take the following steps to penalize the Carmel senator for his comments:

  • Delph will lose his leadership position as the Senate's Assistant Majority Floor Leader of Communications.
  • Delph will lose his title as ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
  • Delph will lose his press secretary.
  • Delph will be re-assigned to a new seat in the Senate chamber, alongside Democrats and away from Republican leadership.

Sources tell Eyewitness News Delph had a closed-door meeting with Long and other senate leaders Thursday afternoon. At that meeting, the senator reportedly stood by his statements and said he accepted the punishment.

WTHR spoke to Delph Thursday night. He declined to comment on the discipline, but said he plans to make a statement next week.