Gov. Pence Says State Won't Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

By Kyle Inskeep

Published 07/10 2014 05:14PM

Updated 07/10 2014 06:22PM

"We've been waiting 15 years for people to recognize us as more than just roommates, friends, partners," Terry Dean said.

Dean and Burr Hartman were one of the first same-sex couples married in Vigo County.

But the wait they thought was over, has started  once again.

"We knew it was going to happen, last ditch effort he's pandering to the people that he feels put him in office," Dean said.

This week Governor Pence's office sent a memo to all state agencies saying that Indiana's law against same-sex marriages is still in-tact.

"The federal court at the district level made the decision that Indiana's marriage law was unconstitutional, the court of appeals stayed that order. And our general counsel advised us that that leaves Indiana's marriage law intact and as governor of Indiana I have an obligation to uphold the laws of the state of Indiana," Governor Pence said.

A decision one legal expert says could have gone either way.

"On one hand they were performed validly, legally and therefore they should be treated valid. On the other hand they were performed under a judicial order that's been suspended," David Orentlicher, the Samuel P. Rosen Professor of Law at IU's Robert McKinley School of Law said.

Orentlicher says this case ventures into uncharted areas.

"We don't have good precedent for this. It's an uncertain area of law and that's why reasonable people can disagree about this," Orentlicher said.

And that's why Terry and Burr agreed to continue wearing their weddings bands.

"It's not going away, no. Even though the state agencies aren't recognizing it, our friends, family, and loved ones they all recognize it and that's what matters to us," Hartman said.

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