Legal issues still hang over gay marriages in Indiana

Bart Peterson, right, and Pete McNamara hug after they were married in Indianapolis, Wednesday, June 25, 2014. A federal judge struck down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday in a ruling that immediately allowed gay couples to wed. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) –  Same sex marriage is legal in Indiana, but for how long? It’s a question that hangs over the celebrations that are still being carried out by supporters of marriage equality.

There is a liklihood that gay marriages could be placed on hold in the very near future.

As same sex couples take their vows one after the other, it’s hard to ignore the fact that Indiana is heading in a new direction. As of Thursday evening, the Marion County Clerk’s office issued 424 marriage licenses over the past two days.

“I think it’s pretty fantastic that we’re finally getting somewhere in such a conservative place,” said newlywed Harlan Wilson. “It’s about time that things are turning around.”

But things could turn back just as quickly. The Attorney General is asking for the ruling by federal judge Richard Young that struck down Indiana’s ban on gay marriage to be put on hold.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if it stayed,” Chris Paulsen of Indiana Equality said.

“I think the odds are pretty good,” said Indiana University McKinney School of Law professor David Orentlicher, who points to what has happened in other states.

So, what about newlywed same sex couples, will their marriages be recognized?

“We know the federal government has said that they will view these marriages as valid under federal law,” said Orentlicher.

State law is another matter and that’s why Orentlicher believes that the U.S. Supreme Court will step in during the term that begins in October.

“Things are moving so fast,” he said. “It’s an important issue.  I think it would be hard for the court to say let’s wait on this.”

Orentlicher also has a prediction. He believes that eventually the Supreme Court will establish gay marriage as the law of the land. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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