Indiana told to honor other states’ gay marriages

A gay pride flag is shown at a pride festival with the State flag flying behind it. (WISH Photo/Nick Nebesny)
A gay pride flag is shown at a pride festival with the State flag flying behind it. (WISH Photo/Nick Nebesny)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, but says the ruling doesn’t take effect until the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rules on the issue.

U.S. District Judge Richard Young decided Indiana must recognize the marriage of Michelle and Shannon Bowling of Indianapolis, who were married in Polk County, Iowa, on Jan. 18, 2011. Shannon Bowling is employed by the Indiana Department of Correction, and couple sued to seek state benefits for Michelle Bowling and her children from a previous relationship.

A third plaintiff, Linda Bruner of Greenfield, is seeking a dissolution from her wife, whom she married in Sioux City, Iowa, on July 20, 2010, but a court in Indianapolis has said it has no authority to dissolve a same-sex marriages, the ruling said. Young’s ruling says she can seek the dissolution if the 7th Circuit upholds the decision.

The 7th Circuit is scheduled to hear oral arguments next week on the state’s appeal of a June 25 ruling by Young throwing out Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban. Hundreds of same-sex couples were married legally in Indiana after the ruling and before the 7th Circuit issued a stay of that ruling.

“The phenomenon that the court previously observed has continued to grow. Since issuing its prior orders, two circuit courts have found bans similar to Indiana’s to be unconstitutional. This court reaffirms that conclusion.” Young wrote in his ruling.

The Indiana Attorney General’s Office had sought the stay in the Bowling-Bruner case, spokesman Bryan Corbin said,

“As the lawyer for the state government, the Indiana Attorney General’s Office has a duty to defend Indiana’s statute – passed by the people’s elected representatives in the Legislature – from lawsuits that plaintiffs’ lawyers file, both in the trial court and on appeal.”

A message seeking comment was left for the Bowlings’ and Bruner’s attorneys.

WLFI.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

blog comments powered by Disqus