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Last updated: Wed. Jun. 25, 2014 - 02:18 pm EDT

Judge strikes down Indiana ban on gay marriage

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Sen. David Long (R-Fort Wayne) released this statement Wednesday afternoon:

“Today's ruling by Southern Indiana Federal Judge Richard Young reflects the recent national trend of same-sex marriage advocates seeking to use the federal courts to overturn state laws that recognize traditional marriage. In a growing number of rulings in multiple states, federal judges have overturned either state constitutions or state laws similar to Indiana's law that holds that marriage is only recognized as between a man and a woman.

“It is clear that the U.S. Supreme Court is going to have to rule on this issue, and the sooner the better. The current chaos over state marriage laws that is being created by these lower federal court rulings needs to stop, and only the Supreme Court can make that happen, and bring clarity to this issue once and for all. Either the U.S. Constitution protects traditional marriage or it doesn't. If it does, it is likely that the Court will leave the decision on traditional marriage to each state to decide for itself. Being a strong proponent of states' rights, I believe this would be the proper ruling. Only time will tell if the Supreme Court agrees.

“In the meantime, I hope that state law in Indiana and elsewhere will be respected by the federal court system by granting a stay to Judge Young's ruling until the Supreme Court takes up this case and all the others like it around the country.”

Ken Falk, ACLU of Indiana legal director, said in a statement released Wednesday afternoon, "We are ecstatic that the court recognized what we have always maintained: That there is simply no justification for treating same-sex couples any differently than other loving couples of opposite genders."

Jane Henegar, ACLU of Indiana executive director, said in the statement, "Thanks to the decision of Judge Young, Hoosier couples and their children no longer have to wait for their families to be accorded the rights and dignity that only come with marriage. Marriage is a commitment, declared privately and publicly, to love and honor and be responsible to and for each other. Same-sex couples want marriage, and finally marriage is possible in Indiana."

Kara Brooks, press secretary for Indiana Gov. Mike Pence issued this statement:

“Governor Pence supports the Attorney General's efforts to appeal the federal court's ruling and defend Indiana's right to define the institution of marriage for the residents of our state. Because the Governor believes in the rule of law, the State of Indiana will comply with the federal court's order as this case moves through the appeals process.”

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INDIANAPOLIS — A federal judge has struck down Indiana's ban on gay marriage, calling it unconstitutional.

U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled Wednesday that the state's ban violates the U.S. Constitution's equal-protection clause in a mixed ruling involving lawsuits from several gay couples.

It wasn't immediately clear whether the ruling means same-sex marriages can begin in the state.

The Indiana attorney general's office says it will appeal.

Federal courts across the country have struck down gay marriage bans recently, but many of those rulings are on hold pending appeal. Attorneys on both sides of the issue expect the matter to eventually land before the U.S. Supreme Court.

It also wasn't immediately clear what impact Wednesday's ruling might have on a faltering movement to add a gay marriage ban into the Indiana Constitution.


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