The ban on same-sex marriage in Indiana has been officially lifted.
After this week's Supreme Court action letting stand the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruling invalidating the ban and the appeals court's order lifting a stay on marriage equality, the Indiana Department of Health issued a marriage license application Wednesday with modified text that allows for two partners of the same sex.
The Office of the Attorney General also released a statement to all county clerks, which informed them that they will be “prohibited from denying marriage licenses to same sex couples so long as all other marriage license requirements are met.”
After hundreds rushed to the altar in late June after a federal judge initially struck down the state’s ban, same-sex nuptials were put on hold, pending appeal. But the Seventh Circuit upheld that ruling in September, and with the Supreme Court's decision not to review this case, marriage equality is now the law of the Hoosier State.
Though not a supporter of marriage equality, Republican governor and rumored presidential hopeful Mike Pence treaded lightly in his reaction to the news, saying he would aquiesce to the the decisions of the courts.
“My position on this issue is very well known, but I believe in the rule of law,” he stated. “The lower court made its decision, the court of appeals has stayed that decision, and we understand that’s created a level of confusion for some Hoosiers. We’re going to sort through that, take the advice of counsel, and make sure the state of Indiana complies with the law.”
While most county clerk's offices have complied with the Seventh Circuit and have begun issuing licenses to gay and lesbian couples, there are a few exceptions. At least three counties, including Boone, Crawford, and Jefferson, have turned these couples away, reports Indianapolis TV station WISH.
But according to Boone County Clerk Penny Bogan, the resistance reportedly stems from lack of formal guidelines rather than a desire to resist the change in law.
“I was advised by my county attorney to actually hold off until we have more guidance by the state,” said Bogan. “I took an oath of office to uphold any laws that come through. … I just want to make sure everything is good to go.”