Pence wants decision on gay marriage ban this year
Republican Gov. Mike Pence says the debate over whether to amend Indiana's constitution to ban gay marriage should be decided "once and for all" this year.
Pence reiterated his support for traditional marriage during his State of the State address Tuesday and said voters should decide the matter in November. He urged "civility and respect" during the debate that already has brought hundreds of activists to the Statehouse.
"Reasonable people can differ, and there are good people on both sides of this debate. No one, on either side, deserves to be disparaged or maligned because of who they are or what they believe," Pence said. "Let's protect the rights of Hoosier employers to hire who they want and provide them with benefits that they earn. And let's resolve this issue this year once and for all."
Lawmakers first passed the proposed ban in 2011. It must pass again this year to be put to voters in November.
Opponents say state law already defines marriage as between a man and a woman and that a constitutional ban will paint Indiana as unfriendly.
Supporters want the constitution amended to make it harder for future legislatures to reverse the law.
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