Federal appeals court: Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional

Indiana Attorney General requests stay following same-sex marriage decision

Kendall Downing reports on the current legal status of same-sex marriage licenses in Indiana.

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 4, 2014)– The 7th circuit appeals court has ruled that the same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin are unconstitutional.

Supporters of marriage equality gathered in the Windy City for a rally on August 25 ahead of this week’s hearing in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

On August 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago heard oral arguments in two marriage cases – one from Wisconsin and a consolidated set of cases from Indiana.

On Wednesday, June 25, U.S. District Judge Richard Young overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, setting off a flurry of marriages around the state. Those marriages were brought to a halt after the appeals court stayed that ruling on Friday, June 27.

“It seems clear that a final resolution of the constitutional issues involving states’ authority over their marriage licenses will need a decision from our nation’s highest court.  Since the Supreme Court has already issued stay orders in two Circuit decisions, it seems appropriate that today’s decision also be stayed.  Hopefully, for the interests of everyone on both sides of these cases, the Supreme Court will make a ruling sooner rather than later,” Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said.

The Marion County Clerk’s office says it will not issue same-sex marriage licenses despite the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision finding Indiana’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional.

“I am committed to the issue of marriage equality but must respect the court’s decision on this matter,” says Clerk White. “After reviewing of the decision as well as listening to statements made by the litigants in this case, it is this office’s understanding the 7th Circuit did not overturn the current stay upholding Indiana’s unconstitutional law on same-sex marriage.”

Clerk White continues, “If current understanding of the court’s decision changes or if the court provides additional instruction, I will gladly welcome all loving Hoosier couples to the Clerk’s Office for a marriage license.”

Gov. Mike Pence issued the following statement:

“I’m grateful for the efforts of the Attorney General to defend Indiana’s marriage laws before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.  I have instructed my General Counsel to carefully review this decision. While I continue to hope that the right of the state of Indiana to enact laws concerning the institution of marriage will be upheld when this matter reaches the Supreme Court of the United States, Hoosiers may be assured, as my administration has done throughout this case, we will continue to uphold the rule of law in all executive branch operations as this matter moves to the highest court in the land.”

See the court’s ruling here: Appeals court document

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