Same-sex marriage opponents blame Indiana legislature - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

Same-sex marriage opponents blame Indiana legislature

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Eric Miller, Advance America Eric Miller, Advance America
INDIANAPOLIS - More same sex couples are now legally married as more Indiana counties begin issuing licenses and performing ceremonies.

Counties which began the day not following Wednesday's court order are doing so tonight.

The US 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago has not yet ruled on an emergency stay to stop same-sex marriages. People are rushing to get married, knowing their window of opportunity could be limited.

Again, today we saw hundreds of people, along with family, standing in line at the Marion County Clerk's office.

It was a different scene in Bartholomew County, which wasn't issuing licenses or performing ceremonies for much of the day. A few people protested the decision which was reversed this afternoon, allowing same-sex couples to say "I do."

About a dozen Indiana counties are not complying with the new law, citing problems with forms or the desire to seek guidance from the attorney general's office.

"By the power invested in me, I declare you spouses for life. Those who I have joined together let no one separate. Now you can kiss."

Marion County Clerk Beth White says she is just doing her job. Her job has kept her busy the last two days granting marriage licenses and in many cases performing the actual ceremony.But not everyone in Indiana is as happy as the newlyweds.

"Republicans and Democrats are both responsible for the legalization of homosexual marriages," Republican political activist Eric Miller declared, standing outside the Indiana State Capital.

Miller blames lawmakers for not taking action on the proposed constitutional amendment in 2013. Now he will be asking lawmakers to reintroduce a constitutional amendment in 2015 allowing voters to ultimately decide the issue in 2016.

"We must pass a constitutional amendment because we believe the Supreme Court will rule the same as it did last year that states can decide marriage the way they want to," Miller added.

"I've long believed that people and states ought to be able to make decisions on the institution of marriage," said Gov. Mike Pence.

"A federal judge has declared that a ban on same sex marriage was contrary to our federal Constitution. That trumps everything the state legislators or voters do," Marion City County Councilor Zach Adamson countered.

Also on the city level, Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard is supporting the ruling which ended the ban on gay marriages.

"I'm happy that the judge ruled that way. I think we're the 19th or 20th state...and I just heard Utah did the same thing. The trend is clearly going that way and I think we all know eventually, that's the way it'll wind up," said the mayor, who has been a vocal opponent of legislation banning gay marriage.

Norquita and Raylyn Terry waited in line for four hours to take their vows but that pales compared to waiting over four years.

"Everyone is getting married. We are in it to win. I don't know about everybody else but we are here to stay," Norquita told us immediately following her marriage ceremony.

It seems almost surreal. They have been denied the right to marry until this week and on Thursday they even had flowers.

"Everybody deserves to feel special on their special day," a representative from Long's Flowers said as she placed three buckets full of three different colored roses down in front of the newlyweds.

"I think this is chaos right now," Micah Clark told me. As head of the American Family Association of America, Clark sees an even bigger issue looming on the horizon.

"Churches that don't want to perform same sex marriages and don't want to rent their property can be sued. Business owners the same thing. Schools will be forced to teach a new definition of marriage to their children, that marriage is anything two people desire," Clark stated outside his north side Indianapolis office.

That is why conservative groups are already working at orchestrating another proposed constitutional amendment in 2015 to go to the voters in 2016.

"The legislators need to stand up to this unelected federal judge who has allowed homosexual marriages in the State of Indiana," Miller, the one-time GOP gubernatorial candidate, added.

In fact, Norquita and Raylyn Terry already had a date set, but they thought they'd need to leave the state to get married.

"Our date was August 1st. We already had a date. So we were going to leave town and then they announced we could do it here and we were like, let's get it over with," Raylyn said moments after she took her vows.They are not worried about all the political wrangling that delayed this day or the debate that could question it. They have their marriage license and that is what they have wanted all along.

Rep. Eric Turner has carried this bill for 11 years. He told me some time ago that he was not sure he would do so again but rest assured if he doesn't someone else will.

"Had the legislature passed HJR-3, the marriage amendment, without any changes, then the people would have been voting this fall to put the protection of marriage into our consitutional amendment. The lawsuits would never have been filed. Judge Young never would have had a lawsuit in front of him to rule on this because during the debate in the General Assembly, those who opposed the constitutional amendment, those who opposed us who wanted to protect marriage between a man and a woman, kept saying we don't need a constitutional amendment because we have a state law. We knew all along if we didn't pass the constituional amendment without any change so the people could vote right after that, lawsuits would be filed and we'd have an unelected federal judge rule against us. And that's exactly what happened," Miller said.

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