Indiana Same-Sex Marriage Ban Struck Down, Allen County Issuing Licenses

By Ian Hoover- 21Alive

Indiana Same-Sex Marriage Ban Struck Down, Allen County Issuing Licenses

  • Click to enlarge

    Josh and Kenny Edholm. First Same-Sex Couple in Allen County to obtain a marriage

    (Rachelle Spence)

2 photos

June 25, 2014 Updated Jun 25, 2014 at 2:46 PM EST

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (21Alive) -- A U.S. District Court Judge has struck down Indiana's ban on Same-Sex Marriage.

The court ruled on three open cases today, Baskin v. Bogan, Fujii v. Pence, and Lee v. Pence, all which assert that Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

"Pursuant to the reasoning contained above, the court DECLARES that Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1(a), both facially and as applied to Plaintiffs, violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause. Additionally, the court DECLARES that Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1(b), both facially and as applied to Plaintiffs, violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause. Because this is a facial challenge, same-sex couples, who would otherwise qualify to marry in Indiana, have the right to marry in Indiana."

Indiana Code 31-11-1-1, which was ruled unconstitutional, reads as follows:

"Same sex marriages prohibited
Sec. 1.

(a) Only a female may marry a male. Only a male may
marry a female.

(b) A marriage between persons of the same gender is void in
Indiana even if the marriage is lawful in the place where it is

As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.3. Amended by P.L.198-1997, SEC.1."
The summary judgment read " The court concludes that the right to marry should not be interpreted as narrowly as Defendants urge, but rather encompasses the ability of same-sex couples to marry."

Defendants tried to argue that the state has an interest in encouraging marriage between only men and women for the sake of any unintended children their union may have created. The court did not weigh if that was a legitimate interest but they did say that Indiana's laws don't even apply to that particular interest. The court brought up how Indiana's laws allow first cousins to marry once they meet an age where they can't procreate. Thus, the court felt the laws were under-inclusive because "they only prevent one subset of couples, those who cannot naturally conceive children, from marrying.

The court also asserted that excluding same-sex marriage couples has "absolutely no effect" on relationships between men and women.

Same-sex couples are currently able to obtain marriage certificates in Allen County, as well as all over the state. Ceremonies are currently taking place at the Marion County Courthouse in Indianapolis.

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