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Governor Pence wants decision on Indiana gay marriage ban this year

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 - 8:23 am

INDIANAPOLIS — Republican Gov. Mike Pence says the debate over whether to amend Indiana's constitution to ban gay marriage should be decided "once and for all" this year.

Pence reiterated his support for traditional marriage during his State of the State address Tuesday and said voters should decide the matter in November. He urged "civility and respect" during the debate that already has brought hundreds of activists to the Statehouse.

Lawmakers first passed the proposed ban in 2011. It must pass again this year to be put to voters in November.

Opponents say state law already defines marriage as between a man and a woman and that a constitutional ban will paint Indiana as unfriendly.

Supporters want the constitution amended to make it harder for future legislatures to reverse the law.