FAQ: Can I marry my same-sex partner in Indiana? And other questions
Today was a great day for same-sex marriage in the US, as a federal judge struck down the state of Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban, (and a ruling in favour of same-sex marriage was upheld in Utah) and we have been sent questions from readers on the meaning of today’s ruling.
Here are a small selection of the most commonly asked questions, and answers.
Is it true that gay and lesbian couples can marry in the state of Indiana now?
Yes! US District Judge Richard Young ruled that the Indiana Defence of Marriage Act, passed in 2004, violates the equal protection clause of the US Constitution.
So does that mean I can marry my same-sex partner today?
Technically, yes. As Judge Young did not stay is ruling, marriages can take place immediately. At time of publication Marion County had begun issuing marriage licences, and one couple had already taken the clerk up on the offer.
And what about other counties?
It is not yet clear how the ruling will pan out, and other counties have not yet indicated whether or not they will issue licences.
But what if we already married in another state?
The state of Indiana should now recognise your marriage.
Isn’t there a risk that the ruling may be put on hold, as has happened in other states?
Unfortunately, yes – the Attorney General of Indiana has already said he would appeal, so the ruling may be stayed, and go to a federal appeals court, and eventually the US Supreme Court, along with other similar rulings in other states.
Bonus – (US Attorney General Eric Holder has already said the Justice Department will issue a memo on Monday that recognises same-sex marriages “to the greatest extent possible under the law,” and vowed to recognise marriages performed in other states.)
So what will happen if I get married today, but a stay is issued?
It is unclear, but experts across the US agree that if not recognised immediately, the marriages will eventually be. Some states which have stays preventing new same-sex marriages from taking place are already recognising couples married in between a ruling and a stay.
Same-sex marriage is now recognised in 20 states and the District of Columbia.