INDIANAPOLIS - There were many ups and downs in a press conference held by Ind. Sen. Mike Delph, R-Carmel, Monday morning over a proposed gay marriage ban, with the newser coming to a swift halt after a controversial question.
Delph engaged in a war of tweets late Thursday and early Friday, venting his frustration over a senate move that delayed a statewide vote on a gay marriage ban for at least two years.
Then on Sunday, RTV6 exclusively delved into the tension between Delph and his brother, Stephen, who is gay. While Stephen says Delph's statements have been "misconstrued," Delph continues to stress that he does not accept his brother's homosexuality.
Delph held a press conference at 10 a.m. Monday, and while the media speculated it was about his feelings on HJR-3, the gay marriage ban, Delph didn't give specifics on his announcement beforehand.
His biggest announcement in the roughly 30-minute press conference was that Delph said he will vote "no" on HJR-3 unless a second sentence (which was subtracted recently) barring civil unions between gay couples is re-inserted into the proposed amendment.
Delph made it clear he's quite disappointed in the Indiana GOP for not being able to push HJR-3 through to voters swiftly enough. He said he believes the Senate leadership - namely Senate President Pro Tempore David Long - turned its back on the conservative base of the Indiana Republican party.
"The can keeps getting kicked down the road while culture change grows," Delph said. "The state of Indiana needs to bring this issue to closure once and for all."
Delph said he hopes HJR-3 will be sent back to a second reading and that the language barring civil unions will be added back again. He said he wants a referendum in November (putting the power of the final decision in the hands of voters) and if that doesn't happen, he'll be voting no on moving the proposed amendment forward.
"We shouldn't put the state through this debate for the next several years," Delph said.
Delph placed weight on how he believes most Hoosiers feel about gay marriage. He said more than 60 percent of voters would vote in support of the ban if given a chance; he also cited Ind. Gov. Mike Pence's support of HJR-3, although he said Pence has never tried to influence him in his opinions.
Delph did touch on the issue of his brother.
"I love my brother. I accept him as a human being. But I don't accept the lifestyle of homosexuality," Delph said. "I think it's wrong."
The press conference ended on a sour note, however. After discussing his brother's alcohol- and substance-abuse problems, a reporter asked Delph, "Had you been drinking or using drugs during your Twitter barrage?”
Delph did not take the question lightly.
“What kind of question is that? That is just asinine. I’d been drinking tea… and that’s… are you trying to make news? That’s an offensive, asinine question. And you know, that is indicative - that type of idiotic question is indicative of the public’s frustration with the media, who is supposed to report news, not make news. So I’m not even going to respond to that anymore. That’s ridiculous," Delph said. He then turned to the room for more questions, "Yeah -- anybody else?”
Crickets greeted the question.
That's when Delph and his staff turned and left. Now, the state waits to see if the Indiana Senate will take a second look at HJR-3.