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Judge Rules Indiana Must Recognize Out-of-State Same-Sex Marriages

Ruling will not take effect until 7th Circuit Court rules on Indiana's same-sex marriage ban

A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Indiana must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.

U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young ruled that it is unconstitutional for the state not to recognize legally-performed same-sex marriages but the ruling will not take effect just yet.  Judge Young granted the state's motion to stay the ruling until the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals makes a ruling on whether Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage is constitutional.

Michelle and Shannon Bowling, who were married in Iowa in 2011 and live in Marion County with Michelle's three children from a previous relationship, filed suit against the state because Shannon could not receive benefits for Michelle or her children.  Shannon works for the Indiana Department of Corrections.

Linda Bruner, another plaintiff in the suit, married her wife Lori in Iowa in 2013 but filed a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage in Marion County Superior Court and was denied.  

In his ruling, Judge Young said, "The phenomenon that the court previously observed has continued to grow.  Since issuing its prior orders, two circuit courts have found bans similar to Indiana's to be unconstitutional.  This court reaffirms that conclusion today."

Judge Young ruled Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional on June 25.  The 7th Circuit Court issued a stay on that ruling two days later.  That court will hear oral arguments next week on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans in Indiana and Wisconsin.

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