Lawmakers Vote on Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage Bills

By Peter Ambrose

Lawmakers Vote on Abortion, Same-Sex Marriage Bills

June 18, 2010 Updated Jan 25, 2008 at 1:21 PM EDT

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - A state Senate committee has approved legislation to amend Indiana's constitution to ban same-sex marriage, although the legislative effort appears to be dead this year.

On a party line vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee advanced a
resolution to begin the process of amending the state constitution to ban gay marriage.

Republican Senator Brandt Hershman of Wheatfield sponsored the
bill. He says he had hoped that the House would want to debate the
bill this year considering recent court rulings in other states.

A key committee chairman in the Democrat-controlled House says
he's not planning to give the issue a hearing. House Rules Committee chairman Scott Pelath says property taxes are a priority.

There was a tie vote in the Senate on a bill to allow pharmacists to deny customers prescriptions they believe cause abortions.

The vote was 24-24. Legislation must have a majority of at least 26 votes to pass, but because it was not defeated outright, it could come up for another vote later.

The bill's sponsor, Senator Jeff Drozda, says pharmacists should
not be required to fill prescriptions that go against their moral beliefs.

Opponents say the bill is an attack on access to contraception.

Senator Sue Errington says women need to be able to control when
they become pregnant. She says contraception is basic health care for women.

And A House committee defeated a bill to require the state to generate 10% of its electricity from wind and other renewable sources within 10 years.

Supporters said that would attract new investment to the state. But the House Commerce, Energy and Utilities Committee rejected it 8-3.

Committee chairman Dave Crooks refused to consider amendments
he said were concessions to the state's electric utilities.

He said lawmakers have already provided ample incentives for the
coal industry. Indiana obtains about 95% of its electric power from coal-fired power plants.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)




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