Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

State News

July 1, 2014

Marriage brings legal protections for gay couples

BLOOMINGTON (AP) — Ryan Cloud knows he wants to be cremated, but he also knows his parents would put his body in a casket if he died before they did.

“Make sure that doesn’t happen,” Cloud said to his partner, Randy Rud.

The couple know each other’s preferences for details such as when to pull the plug, an open casket versus closed casket, cremation versus burial, etc.

“He’s the only one I have,” Cloud told The Herald-Times. “But I know he wouldn’t have a leg to stand on.”

The couple have been committed to each other for almost eight years, and in their eyes, they were spouses — they live together, pay bills together and both have access to accounts in the other’s name. But until recently, they didn’t have a legal document to prove it.

For three days last week, same-sex couples could marry in Indiana and suddenly had more than 1,600 rights available to them. Rud and Cloud were married Thursday morning.

“It’s that free thing that’s automatically thrown into the marriage contract,” Cloud said.

Yet, what happens now with these rights is up in the air, giving newly married same-sex couples even more to ponder.

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an emergency stay Friday night of a district court ruling that overturned Indiana’s statutory ban on same-sex unions. The stay stops clerks from issuing marriage licenses and puts the status of licenses issued between Wednesday’s ruling and Friday’s stay in a legal holding pattern.

The attorney general’s office made no mention of what could happen to the hundreds of couples who were legally married after Judge Richard L. Young struck down Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban Wednesday, other than to say those unions ultimately could be invalidated by a Supreme Court decision upholding the rights of states to define what marriage is.

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