US: Republican governor tells the Indiana government not to recognise same-sex marriages

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Mike Pence, Indiana’s governor and potential presidential hopeful for 2016, has instructed Indiana state agencies not to recognise same-sex marriages performed in the state since the state’s same-sex marriage ban was ruled unconstitutional.

A memo, issues by the general counsel of the governor reads: “executive branch agencies are to execute their functions as though the U.S. District Court Order of June 25, 2014 had not been issued.”

US District Judge Richard Young struck down the state of Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban last month, but a federal appeals court later issued a stay, putting Young’s ruling on hold.

The memo however, does not apply to the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, whose marriage was recognised after the stay was put in place, due to Quasney’s diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

The organisation Hoosiers Unite for Marriage has released a statement saying that Pence is on the wrong side of history.

The statement said: “The federal government has already said it will respect Indiana’s legally married same-sex couples. Now it’s time for the state they call home to respect their legal marriages too.”

Since the stay was put in place, the Attorney General’s office has advised clerks to stop issuing marriage licences to same-sex couples, and to stop performing marriage licences for gay and lesbian couples.

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.