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June 27, 2014

Stay granted: Decatur was among few counties not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples

Greensburg —

Editor's Note: Stay Granted: A three-member appeals court panel has halted same-sex marriage in Indiana, only two 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.

 

Decatur County Clerk Janet Chadwell remained on Friday one of only a handful-or-so holdouts among the state's 92 clerks who were not yet issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Richard L. Young, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, had ruled on Wednesday that Indiana’s ban on gay marriages is unconstitutional.

Chadwell said Friday that she has been advised by County Attorney Peg Polanski to not sign the application for marriage licenses for gay couples because the form has columns only for one male applicant and one female applicant.

The clerk and both applicants have to sign the form and “affirm that the information provided … is true and correct.”

Polanski “just said I’d be perjuring myself if I signed the form,” Chadwell said.

Polanski could not be reached Friday for comment.

However, Judge Young’s 36-page ruling addresses the issue on page 34, specifically barring Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and others “from prosecuting or assisting in the prosecution (of) same-sex couple who fill out the current marriage license application where the spaces provided only allow for a male and a female.”

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