INDIANAPOLIS - Daviess County Clerk Sherri Healey said her religious beliefs tell her that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, but her gay brother disagrees.
The joy of same-sex matrimony has flourished in many counties since U.S. District Judge Richard Young threw out Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday, but Healey refuses to issue same-sex marriage licenses.
"I feel like our country was founded on the biblical principles that marriage is between one man and one woman and I felt like I was gonna stand on that principle until I get an order to do otherwise," Healey said.
Healey’s brother, 49-year-old Kevin Fyffe, lives in Indianapolis. Fyffe lives with his partner, 51-year-old Doug Leyda, on the city's north side.
Fyffe said he believes his sister is on the wrong side of the issue.
"I understand her religious convictions; we are from a very religious family, a very faith-based family. I’m more disappointed that as an elected official, as a civil servant, she is not obeying the judge’s order and the law of the land. Even the attorney general of the State of Indiana, who is vehemently anti same-sex marriage, asked for the county clerks to respect the judgment," Fyffe said.
Fyffe said he isn't trying to demonize his sister, he says she is kind and charitable, but she is blocking progress.
Law professor David Orentlicher said Daviess County same-sex couples could file a class-action lawsuit against Healey.
"It may be that just threatening to go to court may be enough. There is obviously a lot of political pressure on her right now. That may be sufficient to change her mind," Orentlicher said.
Daviess County Attorney Grant Swartzentruber said the clerk is waiting to see if the federal judge issues a stay. If he does not, he said she will follow the law.
As of Friday afternoon, four Indiana counties, including Daviess County, still were not issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
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