Hamilton County issues first same-sex marriage license - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Hamilton County issues first same-sex marriage license

Updated:
The Hamilton County clerk's office in Indiana says they have issued the county's first same-sex marriage license.

Initially, couples were told that the clerk's office wasn't ready to issue licenses to gay couples following Wednesday's ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Young that struck down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriages. But after consulting their attorney, the clerk's office says it will grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Couples have been flocking to county clerk's offices since the ruling was announced just before noon. Dozens of couples have descended on the Marion County clerk's office in downtown Indianapolis to get married today.

Monroe County was another county that immediately started granting licenses to same-sex couples after the ruling came down. But other Indiana counties are awaiting guidance from the attorney general.

Elkhart County Clerk Wendy Hudson says her office will not issue same-sex marriage licenses until it receives formal guidance from the state.

Other counties say they need to update forms that require a male applicant and a female applicant for a marriage license.

Hudson says counties expected to have the guidance on how to proceed by the end of the day Wednesday.

The Indiana attorney general's office says it will appeal, so many couples are trying to get married before a stay is granted and - potentially - same-sex marriages could be put on hold, as has been the case in other states going through similar legal battles.

Sixty-year-old Rick Sutton is among those couples. He says advocates pushed hard to win gay couples the right to marry in Indiana because they wanted to be treated as equals to other couples.

The president of Indiana Equality Action and his partner of 16 years, 40-year-old Robert Owens, were wed Wednesday by Marion County Clerk Beth White.

Sutton says they decided to marry quickly because of concerns that an appeals court would overturn Young's ruling. The state plans to appeal and seek a stay.

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