Marriage for all in Muncie, IN fades away

Same sex couples marry in Delaware County, throughout the state

By Rick Yencer

MUNCIE, INDIANA (NEWS) - Jeff Garrett and David Franklin waited 18 months for that moment that same sex marriage was legal in Indiana although it only lasted 48 hours.

"I never thought that would happen," said Garrett, who was waiting in line with Franklin to get a marriage license this week.

Also in that line was Natasha Martz and Heather Dobbs, reportedly the first couple to actually get married on Thursday after Delaware and most other clerk's offices in Indiana began issuing licenses after the historic federal court ruling.

By mid day, Unitarian Universalist Church hosted the wedding of Angelique Hartman and Kimberly Cox with family and friends. 

Minister Julia Corbett Hemeyer spoke proudly when she said, "By the power invested in me by the state of Indiana," as she pronounced the marriage of Hartman and Cox.

Some same sex couples were surprised by the ruling since the U.S. District Court in Indianapolis had as many as five cases involving same sex marriage.

Franklin thought is would be years before Indiana like more than a dozen other states, would recognize same sex marriage. Actually, Indiana became the 20th state to legalize same sex marriage after the ban also was thrown out in Utah.

Local attorney Mike Quirk said once several states begin to line up, others will fall in line with the trend of that law.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Richard Young ruled this week that the same sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, violating equal protection rights in the U.S. Constitution. His decision reflected a dozen more in other federal court districts since January.

That order caused several counties to immediately issue licenses and conduct marriages although Delaware and Madison counties waited a day to comply with the ruling. That was not the case in Jay County where Clerk Ellen Coats issued a license after a couple brought a minister and a copy of the court ruling.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller immediately filed to stay the order and appeal the decision to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago. Zoeller mainly argued procedure and hoped to stop more same sex marriages for now.

But the American Civil Liberties Union filed action to stop the state, saying "the public's interest strongly outweighs the stay."

That say was granted by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday closing the door to more marriages. While the state argued process to uphold the ban, others insisted the U.S. Supreme Court would ultimately allow same sex marriage in all 50 states.

Ultimately, supreme court justices will decide on same sex marriage for all states as dozens of cases continue through the federal and appeals court system. The cases in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver that struck down the ban in Utah this will be among the first cases going to the supreme court for action by 2015.

While Franklin and Garrett were not surprised the state continued to uphold the ban, they were confident that the trend of marriage for all would prevail.


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