GOP leader: Supreme Court must act on marriage

Last year's Supreme Court rulings left in place laws banning same-sex marriage across the country.
Published: .
Updated: .
Indiana's Senate leader says the U.S. Supreme Court should act fast on the issue of marriage after a federal court struck down the state's gay marriage ban.

Republican Senate President Pro Tem David Long said Wednesday that only the Supreme Court can end the "chaos" being created by a series of lower court rulings on gay marriage. Federal Judge Richard Young struck down Indiana's ban earlier Wednesday.

Conservative groups also responded to the decision by saying they would take the case to the Supreme Court.

"It does appear we're going to have to go the Supreme Court because we have different parts of the country with different rulings and there's only one way to harmonize it and that's one federal national standard," said Curt Smith, Indiana Family Institute.

Democrats hailed the ruling and said their Republican colleagues should lay the issue to rest.

House Minority Leader Scott Pelath says the fight over amending the state constitution to ban gay marriage is "unnecessary." Democratic Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane says Young's decision "lends credence" to the argument that state lawmakers should not step in on the issue.

Meantime, Republican Gov. Mike Pence says states should be allowed to define marriage but will comply with a federal judge's ruling striking down Indiana's gay marriage ban.
Pence has long said he believes in traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Spokeswoman Kara Brooks says he will follow the law but will also support Attorney General Greg Zoeller's decision to appeal Young's ruling.
The state is expected to request an emergency stay of the decision.
Pence supported an effort earlier this year to place the state's marriage ban in the constitution, but he has not been as fervent about the issue as when he was in Congress.

Full statement from Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R–Fort Wayne):

"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."