INDIANAPOLIS – Denise Moe spent June 25 celebrating a federal judge’s ruling striking down Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban, but she says the real work in support of marriage equality has just begun.
On Friday, a three-member appeals court panel halted same-sex marriage in Indiana, only days after a judge ruled the state’s ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago late Friday granted an emergency motion by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller to halt gay marriages until Zoeller’s appeal is heard.
That means county clerks in Indiana can no longer issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples until the court in Chicago makes a ruling on the earlier decision that declared Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional.
Moe, a Republican activist from conservative Hendricks County, plans to spend the summer volunteering for a statewide public education campaign that aims to change the hearts and minds of same-sex marriage opponents.
“We’re thrilled with the court decision, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. We need to change the way people think and feel,” said Moe.
Moe is part of a bipartisan coalition of individuals and groups called Hoosiers Unite for Marriage. They’re collecting and sharing stories of same-sex couples through social media and community and church meetings. Such stories include that of an 87-year-old veteran whose partner of more than 50 years died without being able to leave him survivor’s benefits.
For Moe, the sharing meant taking the case for same-sex marriage to last month’s state Republican convention, where she told fellow delegates of her children’s friends whose parents are same-sex couples. “I told them, ‘These are people who love their children just like we do,’ “ said Moe, a married mother of two.