US: Indiana court halts same-sex marriages

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An Indiana court has put the state’s marriage ban back into place temporarily, staying an earlier ruling striking it down.

On Wednesday Judge Richard Young ruled that the Indiana’s marriage ban was unconstitutional, and did not stay his ruling, allowing marriages to begin immediately.

Despite hundreds of same-sex couples marrying, the state’s Attorney General, Republican Greg Zoeller, indicated his intent to appeal the ruling, and applied for an emergency stay to be granted.

Today, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Young’s decision not to stay the ruling, putting the ban back into place, and blocking new marriages.

The Attorney General had argued it was “premature” to require Indiana to change its definition of marriage, until the US Supreme Court has ruled on the issue.

Lambda Legal said in a statement: “For now, same-sex couples are once again denied the freedom to marry in Indiana.

“The emergency order issued by the appeals court not only puts on hold the continued issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but it also prevents continued recognition of the marriage of Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler, who were granted emergency relief early in the case because Niki is battling Stage IV ovarian cancer.

“Niki, Amy, and their two toddler-aged daughters need respect as a legal family during this agonizingly difficult time.

“It is wrong to block the marriages of all couples and it’s a shameful display of cruelty towards a Niki and Amy and their two children whose marriage is vital as they battle an aggressive cancer and fight to be together.

“Lambda Legal will do everything in our power to win marriage for all Hoosiers. Greg Zoeller will not have the last word, justice will.”

Hoosiers Unite for Marriage spokesman Kyle Megrath said: “More than anything, this is a terrible blow to the legally wedded Indiana couples and their families who were finally, after so long, recognized this week under Indiana law.”

The first same-sex couple to marry in the state were Craig Bowen and Jake Miller, who ran to the clerk’s office in Indianapolis after hearing news of the court ruling.