Ind. House panel hears proposed gay marriage ban

INDIANAPOLIS - An Indiana House panel has jumped straight into the legislative battle over amending the state's constitution to ban gay marriage.

The House Judiciary Committee panel heard testimony Monday on the proposed amendment and a companion bill.

The committee was expected to vote on the measure Monday, but it delayed the vote to give members time to consider what they heard during testimony.

Indiana already bans gay marriage in state law. But supporters of the amendment say it would strengthen that ban against potential court challenges.

Altering the constitution requires votes in two consecutive two-year sessions of the General Assembly and the support of Indiana voters. The proposal sailed through the Legislature in 2011 with little opposition.

But a coalition of businesses, universities and gay rights groups formed last summer in opposition to the amendment and has had some success in changing minds.

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