INDIANAPOLIS — The caucus leaders of the Indiana Legislature said the same-sex marriage amendment shouldn’t be what lawmakers focus on this session.
But they also realize it is a very personal and contentious issue.
“It is not the most important issue we will be facing,” state Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said. “But it is the most divisive.”
Lanane, the Senate minority leader, was joined Monday at the Indiana Chamber legislative preview by Senate President Pro Tem David Long, R-Fort Wayne, House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, and House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, D-Michigan City.
The four caucus leaders discussed some of the biggest issues the General Assembly will be facing for the 2014 session including the marriage amendment, early childhood education, work force development and energy.
They were all eager to point to other issues besides the marriage amendment.
“The people I’ve talked to about this are telling me they want us to work on other issues,” Lanane said. “We have more important issues to deal with.”
Long and Bosma both said deciding how to proceed on the amendment should be a collaborative effort to finally try and solve the same-sex marriage issue in Indiana. Long said he will let his caucus debate the issue and form its own opinion.
“I won’t dictate how that discussion goes,” Long said. “And I won’t bottle it up.”
Although no one was willing to predict a House or Senate vote tally on the proposal, Republican leaders seemed to indicate a vote would likely take place.
“We need to finally end this 12-year discussion,” Bosma said.
Lanane said the Democratic caucus has not taken a specific stand on the issue and that every senator will have specific feedback from their districts.
“We’re not, in any way, telling our members how they should vote on this,” Lanane said.