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Bloomington’s mayor presides over ceremonial mass gay marriage

Bloomington’s mayor presided over a wedding ceremony for same-sex couples Thursday night.

“It’s time same-sex marriages be recognized by all,” Mayor Mark Kruzan said.

Kruzan, along with other elected officials, participated in the ceremony. It was held at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington. The ceremony lasted about 20 minutes but does not have any legal binding in Indiana.

“We’ve just gone through life together. It’s nice to have somebody to go through life with and Glenn and I have been a team for each other all these years,” James Doude said.

Doude and Glenn Lassiter have been together more than 34 years. The couple had a civil union in New Jersey but their partnership is not recognized in Indiana.

“To us, it’s (about) educating the public,” Lassiter said.

The couple, along with the mayor and officials, wanted to protest a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban same-sex marriages. It is known as House Joint Resolution 6 or HJR6.

“This ceremony and coming together of this moment is specifically important because I believe as a nation we stand at a turning point on this issue.

“If Indiana is able to stop HJR6 and not have our constitution amended to ban same-sex marriage, I think the remaining states that are considering that are going to follow along with this,” said Danielle McClelland, Event Organizer.

Doude and Lassiter said they feel hurt and disappointed their relationship does not have the same rights as other couples.

“We feel the love and the life we’ve lived together is valid (and) is as worthy as a heterosexual (couple’s) life together. We feel like we’re entitled to those same benefits of that,” Doude said.

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, said a decision will be made next week regarding the resolution and whether it will move forward or be pushed back until next year.