Indiana Republicans put gay marriage decision on hold until 2014
Indiana's Republican state lawmakers will hold off on a controversial proposal to write a gay marriage ban into the state's constitution.
House Speaker Brian Bosma and Senate President Pro Tem David Long announced that they're putting it off until 2014.
Republicans have a super majority in Indiana's state legislature. Thursday's decision could be taken as an indication of how they intend to use that status to move forward on social issues - especially now that Governor Mike Pence, a socially conservative Republican, is in office.
Long and Bosma have said they are apprehensive of taking on the issue before the Supreme Court rules on related cases this summer. Social conservatives in the House and Senate were pressuring them to tackle the issue now, rather than waiting a year.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller announced plans last year to file an amicus brief with the Supreme Court defending California's ban on gay marriage.
The Supreme Court's decision to take up the volatile social issue comes shortly after the first states in the nation approved gay marriage on statewide ballots.
There has been growing acknowledgement and acceptance of same-sex relationships by businesses as well as large institutions like city governments and the military. Just this week, the Pentagon announced plans to extend benefits to same-sex partners by allowing them to have access to the on-base commissary and other military subsidized stores, as well as some health and welfare programs.
Even so, according to the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, federal law still forbids the federal government from recognizing any marriage other than those between a man and a woman, so the Pentagon must walk a fine, legal line.
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