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Circuit Court Halts Same-Sex Marriages In Indiana

An appeals court is granting the Attorney General's request for a stay on his ruling that allowed same-sex couples to get married in Indiana.

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Photo: Joe Gratz (Flickr)

A judge issued a ruling on Wednesday that struck down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued a stay on a lower court ruling that declared Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages unconstitutional.

The stay essentially stops county clerks from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples until an appellate decides on the case.

District Court Judge Richard Young on Wednesday handed down a decision ruling Indiana’s gay marriage ban unconstitutional and ordered counties to license marriages for same sex couples.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a motion with Young, asking him to halt the effects of his ruling until an appeal was heard.

But Young never responded, prompting Zoeller to file an emergency motion with the 7th Circuit.

The appeals court responded almost immediately, granting that stay and prohibiting any future same sex marriages until the appeal is decided.

American Civil Liberties Union-Indiana legal director Ken Falk says the state should recognize the marriages of those same-sex couples who got married before the stay was granted.

“If people do not, then we have to bring litigation as to them not being honored but I do believe they’re valid marriages,” Falk says.

The Attorney General’s office could not comment as to whether same sex marriages licensed before the stay are valid.

But on WTIU’s Indiana Newsdesk earlier today, IU Maurer School of Law Professor Deborah Widiss said in Utah, there was a 17-day lag between the original ruling allowing same-sex marriages and the stay.

“Utah is taking the position that the state will not recognize those marriages, but the federal government is recognizing those marriages, and I would think that the same thing might happen here,” Widiss said.

If that were the case, Widiss says the couples in Indiana would receive all the federal benefits associated with marriage, but not the state benefits.

Gretchen Frazee contributed to this report.

Brandon Smith, IPBS

Brandon Smith, IPBS has previously worked as a reporter and anchor for KBIA Radio in Columbia, MO, and at WSPY Radio in Plano, IL as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.

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