INDIANAPOLIS - A federal judge in Indiana ruled Wednesday that the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled that the state's ban violates the U.S. Constitution's equal-protection clause in a mixed ruling involving lawsuits from several gay couples.
Judge Young wrote in the ruling:
"The court has never witnessed a phenomenon throughout the federal court system as is presented with this issue. In less than a year, every federal district court to consider the issue as reached the same conclusion in thoughtful and thorough opinions – laws prohibiting the celebration and recognition of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional...
"In time, Americans will look at the marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs, and refer to it simply as a marriage – not a same-sex marriage. These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them as such."
The Marion County Clerk's Office said it's prepared to issue marriage licenses immediately.
"We've been preparing for this for a couple of weeks now. Even though the license currently says 'bride and groom,' couples should ignore that," Clerk Beth White said. "They can go online at our website indy.gov and go ahead and start the application, come into my office. We will stay open as long as it takes this evening."
White said she would conduct short civil ceremonies Wednesday on a first-come, first-served basis.
"All couples seeking a marriage license will be treated with dignity and respect," White said. "We expect it to be a pretty good volume. We're very happy and ready. We want people to come in and exercise this right they now have."
"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."
Crash kills Ind. teen pilot seeking world record
The plane of an Indiana father-son team attempting to fly around the world has crashed after taking off from American Samoa.
Concern grows for Hoosiers in Israel
Concern was growing for an Indiana group of religious tourists who flew to Israel just before all U.S. airlines were grounded from leaving or…
Watchdog details what's right, wrong about DCS
The Indiana Department of Child Services handles cases appropriately most of the time, but "there's always room for change," said a leader…
Lake Co. judge strikes down Ind. right-to-work
A Lake County judge struck down Indiana's right-to-work ban on certain union fees in a second legal blow to the contentious law passed in 2012.
Two dogs found together on streets inseparable
People all over the world are hoping they can adopt a pair of dogs that were found wandering the streets together almost two weeks ago in…
Firearm permits rising in Indiana
Indianapolis residents alone hold nearly 10 percent of the state's conceal-carry permits. With the growing number of people with guns, there…