Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Ruling Throws Out Ban On Same-Sex Marriages In Indiana, Gay Couples Free To Marry Immediately

A ruling by a federal district court in Indianapolis today paves the way for allowing any same-sex couple who so desires to obtain a marriage license from the circuit court clerk office in any county within the state of Indiana. The decision handed down by Judge Richard Young has determined that Indiana's Defense of Marriage Act limiting marriage to one man and one woman is unconstitutional. Marion Co. Clerk Beth White has announced that her office will begin accepting marriage license applications from same-sex married couples as of today. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller plans to appeal today's ruling.

UPDATE: According to various news reports, clerks in Allen, Hamilton, Lake, Monroe, St. Joseph and Vanderburgh counties are also accepting marriage license applications from same-sex couples today.

WARNING: If you and your same-sex partner have already obtained a marriage license in another state or country that legally recognized your marriage, you should NOT be rushing to the courthouse in Indiana to obtain a marriage license here because of today's ruling. Your marriage is recognized in Indiana by operation of today's ruling under the Full Faith and Credit Clause of the U.S. Constitution the same as any same-sex couples who subsequently obtain a marriage license issued by this state. It has come to my attention that many gay couples who were already legally married in other states are rushing to the City-County Building and are being issued new marriage licenses. No married couples should obtain a subsequent marriage license unless your previous marriage was legally terminated by a court order. Moreover, the Clerk's Office should NOT be issuing marriage licenses to people who are already legally married. There's nothing wrong with re-commitment ceremonies to mark the occasion, but a license should not be obtained for an already lawfully-recognized marriage. By placing another marriage in the public records to the same spouse, you are creating an appearance, if not a presumption, that your earlier marriage was terminated. Furthermore, the marriage license application form requires you to state any prior marriages and the date any such marriages were terminated.

The Attorney General has advised the county clerks directly impacted by today's ruling (i.e., Hamilton, Allen Boone, Porter and Lake) because the plaintiffs in the case were seeking marriage licenses in their counties that they should comply with the order and commence issuing marriage licenses to avoid a contempt citation. He's leaving it up to the other counties to decide how to proceed since they are not under the court's direct jurisdiction regarding today's order but cautions them to show respect for the judge and the orders he issues.

Indiana Equality has published the following map showing how county clerks were responding to today's ruling as of the close of business today.


Anonymous said...

Bravo. I was afraid Indiana would be the last State. Greg Garrison and the conservative crowd down at WIBC must be coughing up blood. The same old tired arguments were used that were used to defend separation of the races. Tradition. Religion. Blah blah. Some people just don’t understand how entrenched their hatred had become. Didn’t matter that heterosexuals also had oral sex. That heterosexuals have anal sex. They just hated homosexuals so much. And that tired religious refrain “hate the sin love the sinner” was only trotted out by the ugliest of the haters. Its good that they will be forced over the years to confront their bigotry. The world is changing. Just the other day the Episcopaleans decided to embrace gay marriage. Its been legal for years in Europe and the sky hasn’t fallen. The pope himself said “who am I to judge these gay people.” Of course Greg Garrison judges us every day and has us sentenced to fiery hell. But I think its the other way around. These lovely gay people, all angels. And those horrible Christian haters, they’ll burn for their evil thoughts.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations Indiana! Finally.

Anonymous said...

And from the party of smaller gov't and fiscal responsibility Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller will continue to pour taxpayer dollars into a legal fight to interfere with the lives of 2 consenting adults.

Anonymous said...

What a state we live in; gays can get married but we cannot purchase alcohol on Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Zoeller isn't trying to make homosexuality illegal, so it's inapposite to throw the "consenting adults" canard at him.

Zoeller is trying to keep a national court from expanding a state law to include matters the state legislature never voted on, publicly deliberated or had signed into law by the Governor.

I'll gladly consent to be a licensed neurologist, operating on brains and spinal cords, but given my lack of physical ability to do the job, there's simply no way I'd ever qualify for the license. It takes more than consent to be eligible for certain licenses.

Anonymous said...

"Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller will continue to pour taxpayer dollars into a legal fight to interfere with the lives of 2 consenting adults."

About that, how is the union of one man and one woman arbitrary and unconstitutional, but not the numbers, themselves?

That is, how is a union of two people the result of the deepest and clearest introspection and not, itself, an arbitrary number?

If two women should want to marry a man, why should their consent be dismissed?

If this is all about consent, why is consent capped at two and paternalism allowed after that number?

Anonymous said...

"What a state we live in; gays can get married but we cannot purchase alcohol on Sunday."

No kidding. A federal court recently decided that case against the interest of free choice of consenting adults.

Everyone knows that Sunday liquor sales is an outright violation of the First Amendment, as it commingles the church and state, but that easy case was decided against free exercise.

These courts seem to just make it up as they go.