Indiana is a smallish, fairly conservative state in the midwestern USA. Back in February, our legislature was debating whether or not to have hoosiers (Indiana folk) vote on an amendment to our constitution that would officially define marriage as a man and a woman in our law. We already had a statute ban of gay marriage, but they were pushing to get it "carved in stone". There was disagreement on the wording, and whether or not to prohibit civil unions as well, so the amendment was temporarily pushed back on the agenda.
In the meantime, several gay couples, most of whom were legally married in other states (although their marriage wasn't recognized here in their home state) were challenging the statute banning gay marriage in court. Their cases progressed until they ended up in front of a federal court judge, and, surprise surprise, he found that it was unconstitutional to prohibit these couples from marrying, or having their marriage recognized in their own state.
I have seen this happen in so many states before us, but I didn't think it'd actually happen here. And now.
And so, almost immediately after the judge declared his ruling, just like that, couples were lining up at county clerk offices filling out their paperwork and conducting short wedding ceremonies on the spot. UN. REAL. Excitement, lines forming, confusion and shock in some of the smaller Indiana counties who weren't ready to jump on board. Only a little over 30 hours later, hundreds of couples have married, and most of the counties have started issuing licenses.
Indiana was even added into the Wikipedia article about gay marriage in the US as the 20th state where it is legal to marry!
Local businesses and supporters cheered the happy couples, and overall there's just been this amazing, supportive feeling. I am overwhelmed... and kind of in shock and disbelief. Katrina & I enjoyed a celebratory date night last night, and as we were getting ready to come home when--I kid you not--we looked up into the sky to see a RAINBOW.
|dinner at Delicia (she's pretty darn cute...)|
|rainbow cupcakes at the Flying Cupcake|
There are, of course, some very unhappy people with this turn of events. And the government of Indiana will be appealing the ruling and trying to get a "stay" on it until then (meaning that same-sex marriage licenses would be on hold until after the appeals process). They may end up delaying it, but we are not going back now. Twenty states and counting, and likely that another case will end up before the Supreme court again as soon as next year... and this time they won't be able to avoid the question of: "does denying an individual the freedom to marry violate their 14th amendment constitutional rights?"
People are struggling to come up with legitimate arguments against marriage equality. It's hard to imagine the highest court in the land disagreeing with all of the judges ruling on these cases.
So, although there may be some rain on our parades, we see only the rainbows. We will joyously celebrate the victory of equality in our little state (alongside Utah, who also celebrated a victory yesterday!) and look forward to a future when this will all be history.
I will leave you with a link to an absolutely stunning Indianapolis lesbian wedding from a local photographer's blog. Just....wow. Enjoy!
*UPDATE* The Indiana attorney general was granted a "stay" 2 days after gay marriages began, putting them temporarily to a halt until after appeals process. Poopheads.