Indiana lawmakers pulled off quite a feat.

In a span that featured a bizarre State of the Union address, Evansville city councilors sniping at each on social media, and the combination of an impeachment trial and Iowa caucus that landed with all the success of Three Mile Island, our state legislators still managed to turn in some of the most depressing political news of the week.

Here are a few of their greatest hits.

Same-sex marriage

Same-sex marriage has been legal nationwide since 2015, when the Supreme Court handed down a ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.

But since this is Indiana, there is a still a law germinating on our books that declares it illegal. And, against all odds, that became an issue last week.

House Bill 1418 (http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/house/1418), sponsored by Rep. Karen Engelman (R-Georgetown), would have raised the minimum age to get married from 16 to 18. Makes sense – especially after legislators heard from women whose parents forced them to marry abusive men at shockingly young ages, the Associated Press reported.

The bill flew through committee and seemed well on its way to passing. That is until Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) attempted to add an amendment that would banish the state’s old anti-same-sex marriage law for good.

“I didn’t think it would be that controversial because this issue has been settled now,” he said.

But oh boy was he wrong. Fearing a “big knockdown, drag-out discussion,” House Speaker Brian Bosma (R-Indianapolis) didn’t call the bill to the floor.

Turns out, same-sex marriage is far from a closed issue in Indiana.

Two years ago, at the statewide GOP convention in Evansville, officials voted to include in its party platform that “strong families” are “based on marriage between a man and a woman.”

That kind of bigotry should have been hurled into the scrap heap decades ago.

And while Pierce’s stunt derailed a popular bill for what seemed like a symbolic stance, the fear lingers that, one day, Obergefell v. Hodges could be overturned. If that ever happens, striking that old language may come in handy.

According to the Associated Press, the legislature may take another shot at the marriage-age bill before the session ends.

Coal

Vectren has taken steps over the years to finally phase out its aging coal plants. And utilities around the country are doing the same.

But several of our legislators apparently want to keep them alive a little longer.

House Bill 1414 (http://iga.in.gov/legislative/2020/bills/house/1414), sponsored by Ed Soliday (R-Valparaiso), passed the House by a 52-41 vote on Monday.

Environmentalists and other critics call it a “coal bailout.” Soliday and Bosma reject that notion, but that’s tricky since the legislation allows utilities to buy more coal and pass the costs on to customers. That money then goes directly back to the coal companies themselves, the Indianapolis Star reported.

In its original form, the bill would have slapped stipulations on any utility looking to close an aging power plant, requiring them to get permission from the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.

That provision has since been nixed, and Sen. Jim Merritt (R-Indianapolis) has said the Senate would enact several more changes before it came up for a vote. It would be nice if they would channel that energy into renewables instead.

A good part of the bill? It provides help for any coal worker who loses their job.

Pregnant women accommodations

Before the 2020 session started, Gov. Eric Holcomb rattled off several legislative priorities. One was to “provide more accommodations for pregnant workers.”

The resulting bill was simple. It forced businesses with more than 15 employees to give pregnant workers more frequent breaks and places to sit. It was part of an effort to curb Indiana’s horrible infant mortality rate.

But several Republican senators thought that was a prime example of government overreach. So they deleted all the required provisions and turned the bill into a call for a study committee, Indiana Public Radio reported.

That’s right. Taking care of pregnant women is no match for vague political beliefs. State legislators would never want to meddle in a company’s business decisions (ignore that coal bill we talked about earlier).

Marijuana and public teachers

Whew. That’s a shocking subhead, eh?

As usual, legislators also killed several worthwhile bills, including legislation to set minimum teacher salaries at $50,000 a year, and efforts to ease the state’s overbearing marijuana laws.

None of that is shocking, of course. Lawmakers do that kind of thing every year.

And considering how strange the general assembly can get these days, not even the surprising bills are all that surprising.