INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 25, 2014)– Within minutes of a federal judge’s ruling that Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional, gay couples started arriving in the Marion County Clerk’s Office to apply for marriage licenses.
Indianapolis residents Craig Bowen and Jake Miller were both downtown when the ruling hit social media. They were the first to arrive at the clerk’s office.
“He proposed to me over text message,” Miller said. “We’ve been waiting for eight and a half years.”
“It’s the validation of our relationship and we’ve waiting a long time for this,” Bowen said. “We thought about going to another state and once it made the news today we realized that it was the right time.”
Less than an hour later, the two men were married in a small ceremony inside the clerk’s office.
“You are now husbands together,” said Marion County Clerk Beth White, as she conducted the ceremony.
As Bowen and Miller were exchanging their vows, dozens of other couples were lining up in the clerk’s office to apply for their own marriage licenses.
Jean Blackwell and Kim Williams, who’ve been together for 22 years, also rushed downtown after hearing news of the ruling.
“I was on the phone on a business call and she texted me and said we’re getting married,” Blackwell said.
“We’ve been kind of preparing just in case, so as soon as we saw it, we were like okay we need to go,” Williams said.
“This is huge,” said Nicole Taylor. “We’ve been together for ten years, we have three children together. It just legitimizes our entire relationship, our family.”
The rush downtown was part excitement at the ruling, and concern for how long it would be in effect. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller is reviewing the ruling. Many expect an appeal to bring a stay to the ruling as the legal battle continues.
“It’s important for us because we’re concerned that they might stay the ruling,” said Stacy Tarvin.
As of 10 p.m., the Marion County Clerk’s Office said they had issued about 219 marriage licenses to same-sex couples. They had also performed 150 civil ceremonies, and there were another 100 people waiting in line. The clerk’s office extended their hours Wednesday to 8 p.m.
Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a motion to stay the same sex marriage ruling. It read in part:
“Nonetheless, marriages in violation of Indiana’s existing law have taken place, are taking place, and will continue to take place pursuant to this Court’s order. Time is of the essence to stop these marriages by staying this Court’s final judgment and all related injunctions pending appeal in order to maintain the historic status quo of man-woman marriage that Indiana and its citizens have adopted. “
You can read the full motion here: Stay against same-sex marriage