Indiana Won't Recognize June's Same-Sex Marriages

An order from Gov. Mike Pence's office withholds recognition for the marriages that took place in the brief period that licenses were available to same-sex couples.

BY Trudy Ring

July 09 2014 4:34 PM ET

Gov. Mike Pence

Indiana will not recognize the same-sex marriages that took place in the brief window after the state’s ban on such unions was struck down and before the issuance of licenses to gay couples was halted, The Indianapolis Star reports.

Gov. Mike Pence’s chief counsel, Mark Ahearn, issued a memo Monday to all agencies in the state’s executive branch, saying Indiana’s anti-marriage equality law “is in full force and effect and executive branch agencies are to execute their functions as though the U.S. District Court Order of June 25 had not been issued.”

That was the order invalidating the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. Gay and lesbian couples immediately began marrying in several counties in the state, but the marriages stopped two days later, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit granted a stay of the ruling in response to a request filed by Indiana attorney general Greg Zoeller. Several hundred marriages had taken place. The state is appealing the ruling itself, and arguments before the Seventh Circuit may be scheduled by the end of the summer.

The state will, however, comply with an order from the Seventh Circuit to continue recognizing the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, due to Quasney’s serious illness; she has stage IV ovarian cancer. The women, who live in Munster, Ind., and have two children, were married in Massachusetts in 2013.

The marriage equality group Hoosiers Unite for Marriage immediately denounced the governor’s decision to not recognize the marriages that took place June 25-27, and urged state residents to voice their opposition to the move. Find out more here.

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