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Pence Tells State Agencies To Ignore Gay Marriages

Last updated on Thursday, July 10, 2014

(INDIANAPOLIS) - Indiana will not recognize same-sex marriages that took place in the state while it was legal for those couples to get married.

A memo from Governor Pence's general counsel, Mark Ahearn, was sent to state agencies on Monday instructing them to not give legal weight to the hundreds of same-sex marriages performed across the state between June 25 and 27.

Ahearn says agencies should adhere to a federal appeals court's stay of U.S. District Judge Richard Young's order that Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional.

"Accordingly, Indiana Code ยง 31-11-1-1 (the current marriage law) is in full force and effect and executive branch agencies are to execute their functions as though the U.S. District Court Order of June 25, 2014 had not been issued," Ahearn's memo said.

The governor's office ordered executive agencies to comply with Judge Young's June 25th ruling, even as it supported an appeal of the order by Attorney General Greg Zoeller. Now, Ahearn's memo tells agencies to act as if those marriages never took place, because that is will be in compliance with the June 27th stay. The stay will remain in effect at least through the appeals court's hearing of the case.

The memo affirmed that Indiana will recognize one same-sex marriage, that of Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler. The 7th Circuit lifted the stay on their Massachusetts marriage on July 1 - Judge Young had previously ordered Indiana to recognize their marriage because Quasney has terminal cancer, and Young ruled the couple couldn't wait for court proceedings to play out.

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