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Despite Ruling, Tippecanoe And Other Counties Waiting To Issue Gay Marriage Licenses


5:20 p.m. UPDATE:

Here's some of the coverage of the day's happenings from our other Indiana Public Broadcasting affiliates and their partners.

WFYI (Indianapolis)

WFIU/WTIU (Bloomington)

3:10 p.m. UPDATE:

In an e-mail to WBAA, Tippecanoe County Clerk Christa Coffey says she'll issue gay marriage licenses when and if the state provides her office with an official form allowing the insertion of the names of two people of the same gender.

"I do not have an anticipated timeline, however," Coffey says.

Currently the Indiana marriage license application form is split in two, with one side for a male applicant and the other for a female applicant.

3:00 p.m. UPDATE:

State leaders have begun to release their responses to Wednesday's ruling.

Kara Brooks, a press secretary for Governor Mike Pence:

“Governor Pence supports the Attorney General’s efforts to appeal the federal court’s ruling and defend Indiana’s right to define the institution of marriage for the residents of our state.  Because the Governor believes in the rule of law, the State of Indiana will comply with the federal court’s order as this case moves through the appeals process.”

Senate President Pro Tem David Long (R-Fort Wayne):

“Today’s ruling by  Southern Indiana Federal Judge Richard Young reflects the recent national trend of same-sex marriage advocates seeking to use the federal courts to overturn state laws that recognize traditional marriage. In a growing number of rulings in multiple states, federal judges have overturned either state constitutions or state laws similar to Indiana’s law that holds that marriage is only recognized as between a man and a woman.

“It is clear that the U.S. Supreme Court is going to have to rule on this issue, and the sooner the better. The current chaos over state marriage laws that is being created by these lower federal court rulings needs to stop, and only the Supreme Court can make that happen, and bring clarity to this issue once and for all. Either the U.S. Constitution protects traditional marriage or it doesn’t.  If it does, it is likely that the Court will leave the decision on traditional marriage to each state to decide for itself. Being a strong proponent of states’ rights, I believe this would be the proper ruling. Only time will tell if the Supreme Court agrees.

“In the meantime, I hope that state law in Indiana and elsewhere will be respected by the federal court system by granting a stay to Judge Young’s ruling until the Supreme Court takes up this case and all the others like it around the country.”

2:00 p.m. UPDATE:

The Tippecanoe County Clerk says she'll wait to hear from her lawyers and those from the state before deciding whether to grant marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Christa Coffey says she's read Judge Richard Young's 36-page ruling and she believes it may apply only to the four counties -- Boone, Porter, Lake and Hamilton -- whose clerks were party to the lawsuit.

"In reading orders, you have to take them plainly," Coffey says. "And this plainly says 'these defendants' and I am not a named defendant in the case."

Coffey says she has received a large number of phone calls and e-mail from people displeased with her decision.

She read one, in part, to WBAA: "I find it unconscionable that you're further delaying the rights of persecuted people, et cetera, et cetera," Coffey says.

She adds state forms include spaces only for the names of one man and one woman and those forms would need to be adapted before any same-sex marriages are granted.

Ashley Smith, a spokesperson for the group PRIDE Lafayette, pronounced herself pleased with the judge's ruling, but aware the decision is likely to be appealed.

"I think that it's okay to celebrate the victories that we do achieve," Smith says. "And that it's important to keep the morale going for those who have worked so hard. And that you celebrate every success, but you also learn from it and you prepare yourself for the next battle."

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