Judge strikes down Indiana ban on gay marriage - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Judge strikes down Indiana ban on gay marriage

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The first same sex couple in Evansville to get married. The first same sex couple in Evansville to get married.
The couple went online at the Civic Center and filled out paperwork to be legally married in Indiana. The couple went online at the Civic Center and filled out paperwork to be legally married in Indiana.
Another Evansville couple filing for a marriage application. They brought their daughter who says they are ecstatic. Another Evansville couple filing for a marriage application. They brought their daughter who says they are ecstatic.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -

A federal judge struck down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage Wednesday, ruling that gay couples have the same marriage rights as couples of opposing genders.

The ruling takes effect immediately, meaning same-sex couples can begin marrying Wednesday.

Marion County Clerk Beth White says her office will start issuing marriage licenses. White says the county is also changing the wording of its online marriage license application from bride and groom to spouse and spouse.

U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled that the state's ban was unconstitutional. The ruling involves lawsuits from several gay couples.

The Indiana Attorney General's Office says it will appeal the judge's ruling. Click here for the statement released by the Attorney General's Office.

This is in excerpt from a statement released by the Human Rights Campaign, praising the judge's decision:

"Today's ruling is further proof that bans on marriage equality like the one struck down in Indiana today cannot withstand judicial review," said Human Rights Campaign (HRC) legal director Sarah Warbelow.  "Where you live should never determine whether or not you can marry the person you love, and today we congratulate the plaintiffs and their attorneys with Lambda Legal, the law office of Barbara Baird, and Kirkland & Ellis LLP for bringing America one step closer to nationwide marriage equality."

Read the full statement here.

Federal courts across the country have struck down gay marriage bans recently, but many of those rulings are on hold pending appeal.

Attorneys on both sides of the issue expect the matter to eventually land before the U.S. Supreme Court.

See the full court ruling here.

Related stories:

Seven same-sex couples receive marriage license in Vanderburgh County

Evansville officer happy Indiana recognizes her marriage

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