INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Some Indiana counties immediately began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Wednesday, but others were not.
For counties who were not issuing licenses, reasons somewhat varied. However many said they were waiting to hear from the attorney general’s office or receive a court mandate. Others had concerns about forms that had blanks for male or female, but wouldn’t allow for both on one form.
A spokesman for Indiana Attorney General said late Wednesday that the counties involved in the court case — Boone, Hamilton, Allen, Porter and Lake — needed to issue marriage licenses to avoid being in contempt of court. Other counties were not considered directly under the federal court’s ruling, Zoeller’s office said, though he encouraged “everyone to show respect for the judge and the orders that are issued.”
Zoeller’s office said all Indiana counties would be notified by his office when the judge ruled on Zoeller’s emergency motion seeking a stay pending appeal.
Here’s the updated list of counties in Indiana that were not issuing same-sex marriage licenses Friday:
The following counties were issuing marriage licenses:
- Jefferson (But waiting on forms to be updated)
- Parke (once the form is updated, which was happening Thursday)
- St. Joseph
Two counties — Shelby and Fayette — said Wednesday they were holding off because the marriage form indicates a spot for the female’s information and a different spot for the male’s information. The counties wanted the form to be changed to allow for two males or two females before beginning to issue licenses. However, those two counties were issuing licenses on Thursday. Clinton County and Carroll County said Thursday the form problem is why they were not issuing the licenses. Clinton County officials said no one had requested one, but Carroll County had a few inquiries.
Kathryn Dolan, public information officer for the Indiana Supreme Court, said the form technically belongs to the Indiana State Department of Health because Indiana Code dictates all marriage licenses go through that department.
“We, the court, cannot simply change a state form,” Dolan said. “The department of health perhaps could direct us to change that form, and maybe they will.”
As of 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, it wasn’t clear whether the state would change the form.
24-Hour News 8 continues to contact county officials. Check back for updates.