Staff report - TheStatehouseFile.com
INDIANAPOLIS – A federal judge that previously declared the state’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional has now ruled in a separate case that Indiana must recognize gay marriages performed in other states.
But the decision Tuesday from U.S. District Judge Richard Young has no immediate effect. The Evansville-based judge stayed his ruling as the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals reviews the original case.
A three-judge panel of the appeals court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in that original case on Aug. 26 in Chicago.
“This ruling is another point of light in the fight for the freedom to marry,” said Jennifer Wagner, a spokeswoman for Hoosiers Unite for Marriage.
“It’s pretty simple, really: Hoosier couples who were married elsewhere should have their marriages recognized here,” she said. “Hoosier couples who were legally married here should have their marriages recognized here. And Hoosier couples who want to get married should be able to get married here. Love and commitment don’t stop at the state line.”
The newest ruling came in a case that questioned whether state government personnel benefits or a divorce protective order could be applied to plaintiffs who had same-sex marriages granted in other states, said Bryan Corbin, a spokesman for the attorney general. State law says those unions are not legally recognized in Indiana.
In the earlier case, Young ruled that the state’s law defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman violates the due process and equal protection clauses of the U.S. Constitution.
The judge wrote the marriage law “only prevents one subset of couples, those who cannot naturally conceive children, from marrying” and that excluding same-sex couples from marriage has absolutely no effect on opposite-sex couples and whether they will have children.
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