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Same-Sex Hoosier Couples Finally Free to Tie the Knot

PHOTO: Marriage is now a reality for same-sex couples in Indiana after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up cases seeking to defend the ban on same-sex marriage in the state. Photo credit: Emily Roesly/Morguefile.
PHOTO: Marriage is now a reality for same-sex couples in Indiana after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to take up cases seeking to defend the ban on same-sex marriage in the state. Photo credit: Emily Roesly/Morguefile.
October 7, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS - After years of work and many court battles, same-sex couples in Indiana are finally free to tie the knot.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review rulings in Indiana and four others states where federal courts struck down bans against gay marriage.

Kyle Megrath, coordinator with Hoosiers Unite for Marriage, says same-sex couples who have waited years, or even decades, will now be able to share in the protections and respect only marriage can provide.

"A certain amount of work has been done to show that LGBT couples are in love and want to get married," says Megrath. "Certainly winning feels good, but for a lot of people I know it finally feels like their love and commitment is validated - and you can't celebrate that kind of thing enough."

Some county clerks already are starting to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in the state.

While Governor Mike Pence says he continues to support "traditional" views of marriage, he assured Hoosiers the state will abide by the rulings of the federal courts. The decision also impacted Oklahoma, Virginia, Wisconsin and Utah, bringing to 30 the number of states, plus the District of Columbia, that allow same-sex marriage.

Chris Paulsen, president of Indiana Equality Action, says she expected to eventually see same-sex marriage win at the U.S. Supreme Court. This path to victory came sooner than expected.

"I think it's important the court spoke and it will be a less decisive issue in Indiana now," he says. "Hopefully we won't have to go through another session of the Legislature fighting this and we can focus on more important things."

Paulsen says while marriage equality is now a reality for Indiana, there's still work to be done to ensure all families have equal rights.

"I think we keep pushing forward 'til it's nationally recognized, and I think that will come soon," says Paulsen. "There's other states that will fall in line quickly, but we still push forward until equality is nationwide."

Mary Kuhlman, Public News Service - IN