US: First same-sex couple marries in Indiana

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

The first same-sex couple has married in Indiana, following a court ruling striking down the state’s marriage ban.

Earlier today, US District Judge Richard Young declared that the Indiana Defence of Marriage Act unconstitutional, striking it down.

As the judge did not stay his ruling, couples were able to immediately apply for marriage licenses.

Same-sex couple Craig Bowen and Jake Miller were the first couple to get their marriage license in downtown Indianapolis.

The couple, who have been together for 8 years, say they immediately ran to the clerk’s office, after hearing the ban had been struck down.

Marion County Clerk Beth White will continue to marry couples in downtown Indianapolis this afternoon.

She said: “Chief Judge Richard Young’s decision on marriage equality sets forth a clear course of action for this office to follow regarding same-sex marriage licenses. It is my responsibility to uphold court rulings that impact this office and that is what I will do.

“The clerk’s office will be open until at least 4:30p.m. this evening to issue licenses. I will also conduct short, civil ceremonies on a first-come, first-serve basis for a voluntary $50 contribution to the Indiana Youth Group.”

In his ruling, Judge Young wrote: The court has never witnessed a phenomenon throughout the federal court system as is presented with this issue.

“In less than a year, every federal district court to consider the issue has reached the same conclusion in thoughtful and thorough opinions – laws prohibiting the celebration and recognition of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional.

“It is clear that the fundamental right to marry shall not be deprived to some individuals based solely on the person they choose to love.

“In time, Americans will look at the marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs, and refer to it simply as a marriage – not a same-sex marriage.

“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.”