Indiana won't recognize same-sex marriages performed after ruling

Indiana won't recognize gay marriages performed after its ban was struck down

Indiana won't recognize the same-sex marriages that were hurriedly performed after a federal judge struck down the state's ban in June, state officials announced this week.

A federal judge declared the ban unconstitutional June 25, and, in an unusual move, did not stay his ruling, as other judges have done after similar same-sex marriage rulings around the U.S.

That brought a quick spate of same-sex weddings until the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals stepped in June 27 and froze the judge's ruling until the appeals court could consider the state's ban.

That left state officials with a bit of a puzzle: Indiana law does not recognize same-sex marriages no matter where they are performed, but how should officials treat such weddings that were legally carried out in their own state?

Gov. Mike Pence's office answered that question in a memo to state agencies dated Monday, written by the governor's general counsel, Mark G. Ahearn. He ordered state officials to carry on as if the judge's ruling in June had never happened. 

In other words, before the ruling, same-sex marriages couldn't be recognized in Indiana no matter where they were performed; the same remains true now, or at least until the 7th Circuit or the U.S. Supreme Court makes a definitive decision on the matter.

Ahearn's memo made a small exception for Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney: A panel of 7th Circuit judges had ordered Indiana to recognize their 2013 Massachusetts marriage in light of Quasney's diagnosis of stage four ovarian cancer.

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