Ind. Governor Won’t Allow State To Recognize Same Sex Marriages
By Mike Perleberg
(Indianapolis, Ind.) – Same sex marriages performed in Indiana last month will not be recognized, at least for now.
Mark G. Ahearn, chief counsel to Governor Mike Pence, sent a memo to all executive branches on Monday, The Indianapolis Star reports. In it, Ahearn writes that Indiana’s law banning same sex marriage “is in full force and effect and executive branch agencies are to execute their functions as though the U.S. District Court Order of June 25, 2014 had not been issued.”
Pence had ordered that all executive branch agencies follow the order from U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young while also supporting Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s appeal of the ruling overturning the marriage law. Zoeller’s request for a stay on Young’s ruling was granted by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on June 27, putting a stop to a litany of same-sex marriages that had taken place across the state.
Ahearn’s instructions stated that “in compliance with the rule of law, the State will comply with the Court of Appeal’s individual order recognizing the marriage of Amy Sandler and Nikole Quasney.” The appeals court lifted the stay of the district court ruling of the lesbian couple on July 1. Quasney has been diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer.
Like many states where gay marriage bans are being challenged, Indiana’s law will likely be decided when the U.S. Supreme Court rules on the issue.
Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody called Pence’s refusal to recognize last month’s marriages “predictable.”
“For most newlyweds, they have time to enjoy their union and the creation of a new family. Instead, the Attorney General stalled by providing foggy guidance in order for uncertainty to continue, giving the Pence Administration plenty of time to find legal loopholes to perpetuate the notion that our state’s welcome mat should only be out for some – those who fall under his narrow notion of a Hoosier family.”
Zody was also critical of Pence using a staffer to inform citizens that the gay marriages won’t be recognized.