News (USA)

Ind. clerk denies marriage licenses to gay couples because of ‘biblical beliefs’

Ind. clerk denies marriage licenses to gay couples because of ‘biblical beliefs’

INDIANAPOLIS — A southwestern Indiana county clerk says she won’t issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples because of her biblical beliefs and what she calls a lack of clear direction.

Sherri Healey
Sherri Healey WRTV

Daviess County Clerk Sherri Healey tells the Washington Times-Herald that at least two same-sex couples who’ve tried to get marriage licenses from her office have been turned away since U.S. District Judge Richard Young threw out Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage on Wednesday.

Healey says there’s a gray area between Young’s ruling and an advisory from the state attorney general’s office, so she’s waiting for something more precise.

She told one disgruntled license seeker that the U.S. “was founded on the biblical principle of one man and one woman in marriage.”

She says that’s what she’ll follow until she hears otherwise.

Marion County, home to Indianapolis, the state’s capital city, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples immediately following Young’s ruling on Wednesday, and as of Friday has issued nearly 500 marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

But many county clerks were still awaiting guidance from the attorney general’s office on Friday on whether to proceed with issuing same-sex marriage licenses.

Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s office instructed clerks in Hamilton, Allen, Boone, Porter and Lake counties, which were named in the lawsuits challenging the ban, that they must comply with the court’s ruling or be subject to contempt of court.

Zoeller’s office said other county clerks aren’t under the direct jurisdiction of Young’s order but urged them to “show respect for the judge and the orders that are issued.”

On Wednesday, Zoeller filed a request for an emergency stay, asking Young to put his ruling on hold while the state appeals. Young has not ruled on that request.

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