US: ACLU asks federal government to recognise Indiana same-sex marriages

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The American Civil Liberties Union has asked US Attorney General Eric Holder to issue a statement saying the federal government will recognise Indiana same-sex marriages done before a federal appeals court stayed the striking down of the state’s same-sex marriage ban.

A statement by Holder would make same-sex couples married in the state before the stay was put in place eligible for federal benefits granted to other married couples.

Holder has issued similar statements for both Utah and Michigan in the presence of similar stays to their marriage bans.

In a letter mailed to the attorney general’s office Friday, legal director of the ACLU of Indiana Ken Falk said: “These marriages were lawful and valid when they were entered into and we do not believe that they can be retroactively voided.”

Earlier this week Mike Pence, Indiana’s governor and potential presidential hopeful for 2016, 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. 

On 25 June, a judge struck down Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban, declaring it unconstitutional. 

That decision was not immediately stayed, allowing around 100 couples to marry before the ban was temporarily reinstated by an Indiana court a few days later.