Social issues face GOP-controlled Indiana legislature

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When Governor-elect Mike Pence takes the oath of office in January, he will have a Republican super majority in both houses of the Indiana legislature.

That has some people questioning what will happen with social issues like gay marriage and a woman's right to choose.

Pence has certainly made his feelings known on social issues, like Planned Parenthood, abortion and gay marriage, but he seemed to heed Governor Mitch Daniels' advice in the campaign. Daniels advised all Republicans to call a truce on social issues, in order to deal with the economic issues at hand.

"And Mike Pence responded by saying 'We can't be silent on this' and yet, in the last gubernatorial campaign, that is what we got from Mike Pence. Silence," said political analyst Brian Howey.

The man who built his congressional career on social and moral issues, like the defunding of Planned Parenthood, now finds himself in position to take action on those issues.

Or will leaders in the Senate and House take the initiative on their own?

House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) says the issues will be presented when the 118th session of the Indiana General Assembly gavels in on January 4.

"There is no doubt. This will be my 14th General Assembly and they have been presented in every one of those sessions. They will be presented, I am sure, again," Bosma said.

A constitutional amendment outlawing gay marriage has already passed out of one General Assembly and now must be passed by another in either 2013 or 2014 before it can be presented to Indiana voters on the ballot.

New Minority Leader Scott Pelath (D-Michigan City) acknowledges Pence's conservative bent, but he hopes the Governor-elect will temper that and concentrate on kitchen table issues like jobs, the economy and education.

"It's all a matter of whether they want to pursue the things that divide people or do they want to pursue the things that bring us all together. I hope they do the former," Pelath said.

With super majorities in both the House and the Senate, Republicans may have to learn the most difficult lesson in politics - how to discipline themselves.