Speaker moves to save marriage amendment; moves measure to new committee


bosma-400x266By Danielle Faczan


INDIANAPOLIS – Speaker Brian Bosma moved House Joint Resolution 3, the constitutional amendment to define marriage, to another committee Tuesday in an effort to get the controversial proposal to the full House for a vote.

Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said he heard over the weekend from a majority of the members of the Republican caucus who said they wanted a chance to vote on the amendment, which would define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

“This seemed like the best way to do it,” Bosma said. He called it the “least intrusive, most respectful of the process.”

But House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City disagreed.

“I see a speaker with a lot of difficulties,” Pelath said. “It’s not unprecedented, but it is very unusual for something of such public magnitude. I think it’s a demonstration that there is a lot of division in the Republican Party.”

Bosma moved the amendment from the Judiciary Committee, where it had a three-hour hearing last week, to the Elections Committee, which has scheduled a hearing on the measure for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The speaker said Judiciary Chairman Greg Steuerwald, R-Avon, told him he wasn’t confident the amendment could pass the committee.

Bosma said Elections Committee Chairman Milo Smith, R-Columbus, had been lobbying to have it in his committee.

Smith said he plans to take one-hour of testimony per side Wednesday. Smith said he hopes to have the committee vote on the proposal Wednesday, which would send the proposal to the full House. If it passes the General Assembly this year, it will go to the ballot for ratification by voters.

“I’ve said all along that it’s about the people voting on it,” Smith said. “We’re just debating this and it’s never going to get settled.”

New Rep. Holli Sullivan, R-Evansville, is a member of the House Elections Committee but didn’t say Tuesday how she’d vote on the amendment.

“I am keeping an open mind and listening to all of the testimony,” she said. “I am faithfully looking plainly for constituent formulas, polls and survey results.”

Rep. Ed Soliday, a Valparaiso Republican who also serves on the committee, said polls show people on both sides of the issue want a chance to vote, as well as those on the House floor. He said he would vote for the amendment.

“Letting two or three people decide an issue this big that’s fully vetted, where does that get us?” Soliday said. “Ultimately, rights arise from the people, we the people, and somebody has to vote. The issue is it’s so overwhelming with people saying ‘give me my say’ that I don’t see how you can tell them no.”

But Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, expressed concern about those who have already testified before the House Judiciary Committee and now have to take additional leave from work to testify again.

“Instead of letting hours of testimony and the democratic process play out, the speaker of the House has decided to start the clock over,” Lanane said. “Sometimes the legislative process does not garner the expected result, but that does not mean one gets to change the rules in the middle of the game. This kind of legislative maneuvering has no place here.”

Megan Robertson, campaign manager for Freedom Indiana, a group fighting the amendment, shared Lanane’s disapproval. Robertson said that while she believed most legislators serving on the House Judiciary Committee sought to represent their constituents, she thought Bosma “broke his commitment to Hoosiers to uphold the traditional legislative process.”

“Speaker Bosma repeatedly promised to treat this issue like any other bill,” Robertson said. “We are proud of the way we have conducted ourselves and disappointed that Speaker Bosma did not live up to his word.”

Bosma said he wasn’t sure the bill would pass the Elections Committee but it had a “likelihood of making it to the floor with this route.”

Pelath said he thought there were more important economic problems to consider this session than HJR3, which only divided institutions and citizens.

“The speaker already said publicly that he wants it on the floor of the house so I’m presuming he would not put it in a committee that wasn’t going to send it on to the full house floor,” Pelath said. “Then again, he probably thought he had that committee the first time around. But looking at the membership of the elections committee I see a lot of social conservatives on there that I think are going to be enthused about dragging the voters through this exercise.”

Reporters Amanda Creech, Halie Solea and Erika Brock contributed to this story. Danielle Faczan is a reporter for TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.


  1. Wait a second didn’t Holli Sullivan announced last week at the Chamber luncheon and the GOP breakfast that she was going to vote to put this issue on the ballot.

    Glad I voted for Sean Selby for State Rep. in the caucus because I knew he has principal and wouldn’t lie to his constitutes.

    This is really shameful that Ms. Sullivan would lie right out of the box.

    Please CCO readers read her official comments about the same marriage amendment posted in the highly regarded Statehouse File article posted above.

    Can’t wait to see how Wayne Parke spins this.

  2. I’m was a big fan of Holli Sullivan but must admit what she did was indeed unacceptable and shameful.

    Looks like I’m going to be forced to vote for Steve Melcher in the general election. I don’t like liars.


    Ex-Holli Sullivan Fan

    • How were you ever a Holli Sullivan fan anyway? No one has ever heard of her, she is only a high school graduate, and she has no job experience.

      • I think you need to look a little closer. Holli has a degree in industrial engineering and has worked in management for General Motors and Toyota as well as started her own small business.

  3. Why is anyone surprised at this? If you thought that fishy politics and “convenient” rules were the hallmark of Evansville then look again. It apparently is common statewide. And this issue is taking time away from other more important legislative tasks. I would also venture to say that other bills that are either meaningless or not for the good of the people are being slid through other committees unnoticed and we will all pay the price for those sad actions. What we need at this point are the names and contact info for the members of the Election Committee so that they can hear from those with opinions on HJR3.

  4. So you are calling someone a liar because she didn’t tell a reporter how she would vote before she actually votes. Shouldn’t you maybe just maybe wait until she actually votes before calling her a liar. Just a thought

  5. Are you nuts. Please read what she said to the Statehouse press. Her comments about this subject was totally different here in Evansville. Bottom line, she lied to the Statehouse Press how she is going to vote period.

    I’m done with you and Ms. Sullivan both. Have a nice political life.

  6. “Speaker Bosma repeatedly promised to treat this issue like any other bill,” Robertson said. “We are proud of the way we have conducted ourselves and disappointed that Speaker Bosma did not live up to his word.” ~~ TheStatehouseFile.com article
    Bosma skewed the process. He came running with life support. He didn’t let it die a natural death.

  7. Unless the committee is meeting in Urbana IL, moving the amendment is constitutional.

  8. “Rep. Holli Sullivan, R-Evansville, is a member of the House Elections Committee but didn’t say Tuesday how she’d vote on the amendment.”

    You haven’t had any time to make up your mind on this issue? Are you serious? Now that you have a big fancy job you are going to have to make decisions, Sweetheart.

    Once again, who the hell is Holli Sullivan and how did she get this position? It looks like to me (from her Facebook page) that she only has a high school diploma and no real job experience.

    On the other hand, Bosma seems hell bent on making Indiana look like Alabama.

    • Haven’t been to Alabama much have you? Actually, he’s working to make it look like 27 other states like colorado who have constitutional amendments defining marriage.

    • Once again, I think you need to look a little closer. Holli has a degree in industrial engineering and has worked in management for General Motors and Toyota as well as started her own small business.

    • You’re thinking about Kristi. Sullivan apparently actually has an engineering degree.
      She got to the Indiana House by passing every litmus test tossed at her. Once her fellow Republicans were sure of how she’d vote on social matters like these she was picked over at least one higher quality candidate.

      There are no better credentials for denying the right to marry to a whole group of people than an engineering degree.

  9. So does this marriage amendment mean that heterosexuals can only get married once?
    I mean – the law will define marriage as being between only ONE MAN AND ONE WOMAN. So if I get divorced will I never get to marry again – even if I want to marry a member of the opposite sex? If my spouse dies, will I not be able to remarry? After all – I’ve already met the constitutional ONE MAN/ONE WOMAN criteria with my first marriage. I take it that’s my one and only marriage allowed by the soon-to-be-enacted-law. Community Marriage Builders folks will run with this in an effort to keep people from getting divorced. Just you watch.

    • Don’t use a condom or anything other form of birth control either for that would interfere with Dog’s will!! His Popeness said so himself in 1968.

      So liars, fornicators, adulterers, wife beaters, child molestors, thieves, child abusers, murderers, and coveter’s of thy neighbor’s wife’s @ss shall not get married because that is against Dog’s will.

      Oh wait I’m sorry all those kinds of sinners can get married!! So sorry it’s only the homosexuals who can’t get married. How silly of me!

      How convenient for the hypocrites!

      • You sir have no say in an argument where you claim others are not being tolerant. After your little intolerant spiel about God and others beliefs. You are the exact picture of a liberal. Tolerance is only for those who agree with your beliefs.

        • The Rule of Law usually agrees with our beliefs, too. That is why women can vote, choose what to do with their bodies (theoretically, at least), interracial couples can marry, and slavery is no longer legal.

  10. “I think it’s a demonstration that there is a lot of division in the Republican Party.”

    Damn right there is. As a Republican, I find this effort to be odious.

  11. “I am keeping an open mind and listening to all of the testimony,” she said. “I am faithfully looking plainly for constituent formulas, polls and survey results.”

    Ok, so she already stated her views, but perhaps she has an open mind. I don’t think the misogynists attacking her will help persuade her to their point of view.

    The part I don’t like is her deciding by formulas than polls. Testimony and the constitution is the guide.

  12. Bosma has successfully avoided being “primaried” by the even-farther-right. It’s going to be interesting to see how he fares gaining support of the mainstream GOP, though.
    At this point, Bosma has sacrificed what is best for Indiana to what he thinks is best for his own political ambitions. We will see about that.

    • In Bosma’s defense, it’s tough to jump off a rollercoaster set on 1920 once it starts that precipitous drop. (That is another thrill that is on their agenda, it must be stopped). Flogging social issues is all they have left at this point, having jettisoned all but the most inauthenic concern for their constituents at-large years ago. What is best for Indiana is nowhere in these folk’s view.

      Sullivan and Bosma will both face the voters unless they see the wall scrawl and bail to spend more time with their families.

  13. There would not be near the print space allotted to this issue in Indiana if it were not for the fact that the total breakdown of President Obama’s credibility has required the liberal press to promote this and other issues as a diversion from their LACK of reporting on the President.

    When was the last time you saw a front page, above the fold, article on any of the scandals facing President Obama and his administration?

    We are, however, being fed an almost daily, blow by blow, account of a simple process of getting this issue before the Indiana voters for an up or down vote.

    Polls have shown that the majority of Hoosiers believe that marriage is between a man and a woman. Nothing surprising there, as we all know that Hoosiers have always been guided by common sense.


    • Check the front page of today’s (1-22-2014) Evansville Courier&Press for confirmation of this post.


    • What the majority of Hoosiers believe doesn’t amount to a flying flip, nor does what is on the front page of today’s Courier.
      What the Constitution SAYS trumps what the inbred BELIEVES!

      • Hahahahaha, wow we have a liberal victim now trying to twist the Constitution to do her bidding. She loves to twist the wording one way to help her cause here, but twist it another way to help her cause another way on the gun issue.

        To hell with what the majority wants, only my belief is correct and must be followed, as I am a liberal victim…see my card, it says so.

        Lady, I will pay for your bus fare to move on out of the state, so you don’t have to be with the inbreds…

        • Are you really so ignorant that you BELIEVE that in this country “the majority rules” in these matters? NEWSFLASH: The Constitution protects the rights of the minority and prohibits the “majority rules” style of mob rule that you apparently think is how we do things in this country.

          • The constitution also protects the rights of the majority. We are a constitutional republic governed by the rule of law. It is those who oppose this amendment who are attempting to create a mob to thwart the rule of law.

            My concern since the onset has not been two of the same sex being married but that when we write laws based on emotion, mob rule, we create bad laws which erodes our constitution.

      • Elky,
        Lock your doors. I hate to say it but we appear to have one, apparently one with some Greyhound money ready to disburse, seeking to breed again.

        The Legend of Indiana grows.

      • And what the constitution SAYS is our constitution can be amended by referendum.

        • If the referendum is not Constitutional, it will be struck down. It happens pretty frequently these days.

          • And how long have I been saying that?

            What you don’t get is that either way this issue will go to court.

      • Unfreakin’ believable!

        ‘bortion, god, guns and gays!
        You say you work two jobs and still need food stamps and/or welfare to make it?

        Well looky over there there is Obama without his hand over his heart during the national antheman.
        The criminal!

        You say you haven’t had any healthcare for decades?

        Well why would you want that? That commie pinko marxist Obummer is going to destroy the country with this Obamacare. Don’t sign up for that! Might kill you and granny.

        You need a pay raise?

        Don’t you know man and true patriot Bush II gave you $600 in a tax cut! Never mind about that “Wall St. multibillion dollar bailout” and the billions megacorps and the 1% in the Bush tax swindle err I mean tax cut. You know those hard working people “earned that” and never minf about them crashing the economy that was that homo Barney ’em Frank who caused that! You should be heppy those “job creators” allow you to exist at all!

      • If you subtract the per capita debt of California from her taxpayers that state would also be colored red in your graph. Likewise New York and the State of Illinois.

        How long do these people think they can wait for the Feds to bail them out?


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