Indiana counties get instructions from Attorney General on same- - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Indiana counties get instructions from Attorney General on same-sex marriage

Posted:
ELKHART - After a federal judge struck down Indiana's same-sex marriage ban Wednesday morning, many Indiana counties held off on granting same-sex marriage licenses after the Attorney General announced plans to seek a stay of the ruling.

While St. Joseph County was issuing their first same-sex marriage licenses Wednesday afternoon, Elkhart, Kosciusko, Marshall, Fulton and Starke counties were all waiting on word on what to do from Attorney General Greg Zoeller. That word came just after 3:30pm, when Zoeller sent county clerks instructions to start granting licenses to same-sex couples who requested it.

An excerpt of Zoeller's statement reads:

"For those county clerks that were named (Hamilton, Allen, Boone, Porter, Lake) in the cases ruled upon today please be aware that you must comply with the court’s ruling or be subject to contempt of court.  Other county clerks are not under the direct jurisdiction of the court order but as an officer of the court we must encourage everyone to show respect for the judge and the orders that are issued.

Our office is seeking a stay of today’s ruling pending appeal and will notify you timely if that stay is granted and the scope of it."

Most clerk's offices close at 4:00pm, which left very little time for couples to get their applications in. Elkhart County said they granted two same-sex marriage licenses before the close of business. Fulton County stops granting marriage licenses at 3:30pm and thus did not grant any same-sex licenses at all Wednesday.

LaGrange County said earlier in the afternoon that they would grant same-sex marriage licenses to anyone who insisted, but that because of their existing software, they would have to print out a form and cross out where it said 'male' or 'female' to accommodate a same-sex couple.

Clerk's offices open at 8:00am Thursday, and FOX28 will be live at St. Joseph and Elkhart County courthouses to cover this developing story.

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