Same-sex couple anxiously awaits appeals court ruling

Jake Lees (left) and Austin Armacost say they will move if Indiana does not recognize their marriage.
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A Franklin man has lived in New York and England, but is now waiting to see if he and his husband will be able to live in Indiana.

Austin Armacost believes that decision ultimately rests with the 7th District Court in Chicago.

Armacost and Jake Lees are in limbo. The international couple have overcome the barriers of a long-distance relationship, since Lees is from England. Now, they are wondering if they will be able to overcome another barrier here in Indiana.

"I was forced to leave my country if I wanted to be with the person who I fell in love with," Armacost said.

A Franklin native, Armacost returned to Indiana to live and work. Lees, whom he married in Illinois just last month has agreed to it.

"I love this country. I love this state. I've lived in Indiana this whole time. Definitely where I want to spend the rest of my life with my husband," Lees said.

So now, the two of them are waiting to see what the federal court in Chicago will decide August 13.

"There are currently five states that have overturned the ban on same-sex marriage in the federal court system. All of them were brought out about by citizens of those states and so we are hoping the same happens in this case," Armacost said.

If Armacost looks familiar, it may be due to his two-season run on a show called "The A List in New York City," a reality show which followed the lives of six gay men in the Big Apple.

Long accepted in England, Lees says he has definitely noticed a difference when it comes to gay marriage in Indiana.

"When I came over here, it seems like a huge step backward against people I have never felt in England, but I come here and sometimes I do feel it in this state," he said.

"We are not trying to redefine marriage. We just want to be a legally recognized couple in the state of Indiana, which is where I am from," Armacost said.

So now they wait, wondering if they will be able to make Indiana home - or prepare to move on.

"If the court decides it will not recognize same-sex marriage, I will not stay in Indiana. We will be legal strangers. We will face so many difficulties, it will not be worth it," Armacost said.

The hearing will come August 13, but the answer may take a little longer.

The State of Indiana filed its appeal brief with the federal appeals court Tuesday. The state is appealing the ruling invalidating the same-sex marriage ban in Indiana.