Indiana gay marriages in question after stay - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Indiana gay marriages in question after stay

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David and Greg Bovo-Schmokel were the first married gay couple in St. Joseph County David and Greg Bovo-Schmokel were the first married gay couple in St. Joseph County
SOUTH BEND - Hundreds of same-sex couples across Indiana flooded county courthouses to pick up marriage licenses last week. Many of them celebrated by tying the knot right away. 

But late last Friday, a federal court of appeals issued a stay - bringing gay marriage to a screeching halt in the state. So what happens to the hundreds of same-sex couples already married?

"We knew they were gonna put the stay," said David Bovo-Schmokel. David and Greg Bovo-Schmokel were the first same-sex couple to get a marriage license in St. Joseph County. "Within hours we knew. That's why we got the license at 2:45 and got married at 3:30."

But even couples who got married before the stay might still not be recognized as a legally married couple by the state of Indiana, according to Notre Dame law professor Jay Tidmarsh. 

"Most issues relating to marriage are determined under state law," said Tidmarsh. "So as long as those issues are in limbo, for many purposes, the people who have already completed marriages will remain in limbo."

The state of Utah is in a similar situation to Indiana. The Obama administration already promised federal benefits to those same-sex married couples during the waiting period of the appeals process. Tidmarsh believes the Supreme Court is likely to rule on the Utah appeals case. The results of that ruling will have ramifications on Indiana's gay marriage ban and the validity of married couples. 

"We are legally married, they cannot take that away," said Bovo-Schmokel. 

Gov. Mike Pence says his office is seeking advice from the Attorney General about whether the state will recognize the hundreds of gay marriages that occurred before the stay. 

"I think my position is well known," said Pence. "But I believe in the rule of law."

Bovo-Schmokel says he plans to sue the state if his certificate of marriage is withheld. 

"Anybody who's still trying to get married, don't give up," said Bovo-Schmokel. "It will become legal. Just don't give up."
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