To the media and political observers: Can an amendment be changed the second time through the legislature and nevertheless progress onto the ballot in 2008?
The answer is yes. It has been done before.
One has only to research the legislative history of 1983 and 1984 to see an example. In those years, two amendments proceeded, one correcting archaic language and the other responding to a Supreme Court ruling mandating one-person one-vote, breaking county lines for the purposes of establishing voting districts. As it happens, the former amendment coincidentally contained language that conflicted with the latter, and therefore was no longer appropriate. The solution? The conflicting language was removed and both measures proceeded, changes notwithstanding.
For this to happen in Indiana, the House may remove language which has now been demonstrated to be conflicting and confusing, without affecting the main thrust of the amendment defining marriage between man and woman. The Senate has only to concur for the measure to proceed to the ballot.
Those who allege that Bauer must allow no change in order for the amendment to proceed are historically incorrect. It cannot be alleged accurately that a change to the amendment in the House delays the amendment. Those who take this position are disingenuous. Their main purpose in the second part is to preserve the ability to litigate against acts of the legislature or against any public entity or any corporation that derives contracts from public funding. It is that purpose which they are loathe to disclose and surrender.
Does the amendment threaten the ability of private corporations to offer domestic partnership benefits? If that corporation receives money from public contracts which depend upon Indiana law, and if that corporation's benefits can be construed as conferring any legal incident of marriage, the answer is yes.