Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Local News

June 29, 2014

Decatur County was a same-sex marriage holdout

-- — Editor's note: As of Friday morning, June 27, all but seven Indiana counties were issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples two days after U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young declared the state's legal ban unconstitutional.

In those counties, clerks were waiting for additional guidance from the state before proceeding, according to the Indianapolis Star.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller appealed Young’s ruling, seeking an emergency stay from the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to stop same-sex marriages in the state and it was granted late Friday, which means all Indiana clerks have stopped issuing marriage licenses until lawsuits can be resolved.

GREENSBURG – Decatur County Clerk Janet Chadwell remained on Friday one of only a handful of holdouts among the state's 92 clerks who were not yet issuing marriage licenses to gay couples.

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

Chadwell said Friday that she was 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, 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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