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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 22 2014 - Volume 42 Issue 34
Indiana marriage ban struck down AGAIN
Section One
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Indiana marriage ban struck down AGAIN

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Federal District Judge Richard L. Young ruled on August 20 that Indiana state law barring recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages is unconstitutional.

In this case, Bowling v. Pence, one plaintiff sought a divorce and another couple wished to have their Iowa marriage recognized by Indiana, as it would have been, had they been an opposite-sex married couple.

It was the second time Young had struck down Indiana's marriage laws. In a previous ruling on June 25, Young ruled that the state's ban on same-sex marriages was unconstitutional in its entirety. Young did not stay that ruling, and a number of Gay and Lesbian couples married in Indiana before the decision was stayed by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Seventh Circuit will hear oral arguments in that case, Baskin v. Bogan, on August 26. Young's ruling on out-of-state marriages has been stayed pending appeal to the Seventh Circuit.

'Where you live should never determine your ability to have your marriage recognized,' said HRC Legal Director Sarah Warbelow about Young's August 20 ruling. 'These discriminatory bans only serve to harm LGBT families, and they should be erased from our nation's laws once and for all.'

In his latest ruling, Young challenged earlier claims by Indiana Governor Mike Pence that the state's marriage ban remains 'in full force and effect' and should be enforced by state officials.

In another previous ruling, Young had dismissed a suit against Pence on the grounds that the governor did not have direct authority to enforce the state's marriage laws, yet Pence then issued orders to officials to ignore Young's ruling that same-sex couples could marry.

In his latest decision, Young accused Pence of trying to have things both ways.

'The Governor has repeatedly represented to this court that he does not have any authority to enforce, or other role respecting,' the state's marriage law, the judge wrote.

'Based on this representation and an absence of statutory authority allowing the governor to issue executive decrees telling other elected officials how to do their jobs, the court previously granted summary judgment in favor of the Governor.'

In his August 20 order, Young made it clear he was annoyed by the governor's apparent reversal.

'The court, after witnessing the Governor do what he claimed he could not do, reverses course and finds him to be a proper party to such lawsuits. The court wishes to reiterate that it finds the Governor's prior representations contradicting such authority to be, at a minimum, troubling.'

Young's August 20 ruling is now the twentieth federal court decision striking down state marriage bans.

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