INDIANA: Federal Court Rules State Must Recognize Out-Of-State Gay Marriages

Via press release from the HRC:

On Tuesday U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young ruled in Bowling v. Pence that Indiana’s law prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriages performed in other jurisdictions is unconstitutional. The decision was stayed, pending an appeal. Judge Young previously struck down the state’s marriage ban in a ruling on a case known as Baskin v. Bogan, which was consolidated with two other cases for an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. A three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit in that case will hear arguments on Tuesday of next week. “Where you live should never determine your ability to have your marriage recognized,” said Human Rights Campaign Legal Director Sarah Warbelow. “These discriminatory bans only serve to harm LGBT families, and they should be erased from our nation’s laws once and for all.”

In his previous ruling in the Baskin case striking down the state’s marriage ban, Judge Young ruled that Indiana Governor Mike Pence was not a proper defendant in these marriage cases, as he did not have the authority to permit or deny marriage rights under the law. Hundreds of couples across the state began marrying until the Seventh Circuit stayed the ruling following a request from the state. Gov. Pence later announced the state would not be recognizing the same-sex marriages that took place during that window. With Judge Young’s latest ruling last night, he has reversed course. He writes, “The court, after witnessing the Governor do what he claimed he could not do, reverses course and finds him to be a proper party to such lawsuits. The court wishes to reiterate that it finds the Governor’s prior representations contradicting such authority to be, at a minimum, troubling.”

Yesterday’s ruling was the 20th consecutive pro-marriage decision by a federal court.