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June 25, 2014

Daviess clerk's office denies same sex marriage license request

Knox, Dubois counties first denies, then reverses decisions

Daviess County denied a same-sex couple a marriage license following a federal judge's order striking down the Indiana same-sex marriage ban and confusion at the state level.

Daviess County Clerk Sherri Healy said Wednesday a same-sex couple called the office inquiring about obtaining a license. She had to deny the request because nothing had come from the state allowing her issue one.

"I said 'Until I was authorized to issue them, I would not be doing it,'" Healy said.

U.S. District Judge Richard Young ordered Wednesday Indiana's same-sex marriage ban was unconstitutional, allowing many same-sex couples to obtain licenses from across the state. Clerks in Marion, Monroe, Allen, Lake and other counties started issuing licenses immediately because there was no stay in the Young's order, allowing licenses to be issued.

Daviess County was not the only county denying licenses to same-sex couples, as counties across southwestern Indiana would not issue the licenses due to a lack of an order from the state attorney general's office to do so. There is also a question if the licenses would be valid before the stay was issued.

According to tweets from Evansville Courier and Press Reporter Zach Evans, a Knox County couple tried to obtain a marriage license but was denied. The clerk's office reversed its decision later Wednesday and said they would issue licenses.

Dubois County also had denied couples the licenses and then reversed course. Clerks in Martin and Pike counties said Wednesday afternoon they had not received any calls for marriage licenses.

Other larger counties in Indiana, including Tippecanoe and Elkhart counties, also did not issue licenses while waiting on guidance from the state. Healy expressed frustration with the state in its lack of communication with county clerks following Judge Young's ruling. Other than emails with fellow clerks, there has been nothing from the state, she said.

"We are supposed to have something official before the end of business (Wednesday)," Healy said.

The attorney general's office will appeal the ruling.

 

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