Federal Judge Strikes Down Indiana’s Ban On Same-Sex Marriage
A Federal District Court in Indiana has has struck down that state’s ban on same-sex marriage:
A federal judge struck down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday in a ruling that immediately allowed gay couples to wed.
The court clerk in Marion County, home to Indianapolis, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couple about an hour after U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled that the state law violates the U.S. Constitution’s equal-protection clause.
“Same-sex couples, who would otherwise qualify to marry in Indiana, have the right to marry in Indiana,” he wrote. “These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them as such.”
The Indiana attorney general’s office said it would appeal the ruling but declined further comment.
The ruling involves lawsuits filed by several gay couples, who along with the state had asked for a summary judgment in the case. Young’s ruling was mixed but generally sided with the couples and prevents the state from enforcing the ban.
“Indiana now joins the momentum for nationwide marriage equality and Hoosiers can now proclaim they are on the right side of history,” Lambda Legal, the national gay rights group that represented five of the couples, said in a statement.
This ruling was overshadowed to some extent by the decision that came down at almost the same time from the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals regarding Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, and the reasoning of the decision is largely identical to the cases we’ve seen handed down over the past year. Nonetheless, this constitutes the 21st consecutive ruling since United States v. Windsor was handed down nearly a year ago in which a state ban on marriage equality was struck down in whole or in part. The momentum seems obvious.
Here’s the opinion: