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Pence ignores gay marriages


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By Sarah Zinn




Couples who were married during the brief window gay marriage was legal in Indiana wasted no time rushing to courthouses in their hometowns.

They understood those three days in June were anomalies, born of an unexpected federal ruling that garnered immediate 
opposition.

Governor Mike Pence’s office said the state would not recognize these marriages Wednesday.

With the majority of the state’s leaders in opposition of the ruling, the immediate future of these married couples remained uncertain until Pence decided that the state should ignore their marriages.

Pence himself had yet to formally announce this information as of press time, but is communicating through his office.

The state will recognize the out-of-state marriage of Amy Sandler and Nikole Quasney of Munster, Ind., in line with the original appellate court order.

Those in favor of gay marriage have expressed their disappointment with the governor’s decision.

“Governor Pence is embarrassing our state by ignoring these families, creating an unwelcoming environment for those who want to call Indiana home,” Indiana Democrat Party Chair John Zody said in a press release. “No Hoosier should be treated as a second-class citizen.”

Although the governor isn’t a judicial authority, IUPUI Professor of Law David Orentlicher said, the governor’s decision will affect the marriages in question.

The governor’s decision is an interpretation of state law that will bar couples who were married before the stay from being viewed as a legally married, he said.

“Some questions about gay marriage are governed by state law, and some are governed by federal law,” IUPUI Professor of Law David Orentlicher said. “Ordinarily matters of family are regulated by the state.”

However, Orentlicher said the marriages are valid by federal law.

“If you want to assert your rights as a married couple under state law, you’d have to go to court,” he said.

Although the state is not required to view the couples’ marriages as legal, companies could theoretically choose to recognize the marriages in question and give them due benefits, Orentlicher said.

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