The Office of the Indiana Attorney General is fighting Wednesday’s decision that overturned the state’s marriage law.
Chief Judge for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana Richard Young issued a ruling that Indiana’s law prohibiting marriage violated the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment. Shortly after the decision was rendered, Attorney General Greg Zoeller indicated his office would appeal.
Late Wednesday, the attorney general’s office announced it had filed an emergency motion for stay in the U.S. District Court pending appeal. The motion asked Young to postpone the implementation of his order.
“The motion for stay is intended to prevent confusion and inconsistency between county clerk’s offices regarding license issuance, while the appeal is pending,” said Bryan Corbin, spokesman for the AG’s office.
The U.S. District Court has not ruled yet on the state’s motion to stay.
In addition, the AG’s office, along with Boone and Hamilton county clerks, filed a notice of appeal formally notifying the U.S. District Court that the defendants will appeal Young’s order to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Once Young issued his ruling, county clerk’s offices around the state began fielding requests from same-sex couples for marriage licenses. Some clerk’s issued the licenses but others did not, saying they were awaiting guidance from the attorney general.
According to Corbin, the AG’s office advised the five county clerks named in lawsuits (Hamilton, Allen, Boone, Porter and Lake) that they must comply with the U.S. District Court’s ruling or they would be subject to contempt of court.
“Other county clerks in the remaining counties are not under direct jurisdiction of the order,” Corbin said, “but as an officer of the court, the Attorney General’s Office must encourage everyone to show respect for the judge and the orders that are issued.”
As of 6 p.m., the Marion County Clerk’s Office had processed almost 90 marriage license applications and conducted 63 wedding ceremonies. The office extended its hours June 25 to 8 p.m.