Indiana GOP passes law making it a crime for clergy to perform gay weddings

In what appears to be a rather massive violation of the freedom of religion, the Republican party in Indiana appears to have amended the state criminal code to either make it a crime, or confirm that it remain a crime, for clergy to conduct weddings for gay couples.

While it is not widely known, numerous mainstream American religions permit gay nuptials. The faiths include reform Judaism, Evangelical Lutherans, Episcopalians, and the United Church of Christ, among others.

The amendment to the criminal code, which will go into effect on July 1, 2014, makes it a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of $1,000 for clergy “solemnize” a marriage of two men or two women.

IC 31-11-11-7
Solemnization of marriage between persons prohibited from marrying
Sec. 7. A person who knowingly solemnizes a marriage of individuals who are prohibited from marrying by IC 31-11-1 commits a Class B misdemeanor.
As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.3.

The tricky part is coming up with a definition of what “solemnizing” is.  Is solemnizing conducting the marriage service, providing the married couple with a document attesting to their marriage, and/or submitting that document to the state?   Depending on what exact definition of solemnizing Indiana uses, preachers might be thrown in jail for practicing their faith.

One answer to this question appears to be in this section of the Indiana code, which makes clear that solemnization is something that happens before the marriage certificate is filed with the clerk:

IC 31-11-11-8
Failure to timely file marriage license and duplicate marriage certificate
Sec. 8. A person who:
(1) solemnizes a marriage; and
(2) fails to file the marriage license and a duplicate marriage certificate with the clerk of the circuit court not later than ninety (90) days after the date the marriage was solemnized;

Note how solemnization is mentioned as something other than filing the marriage license.  Solemnization is looking more and more like conducting a solemn wedding service.  And that’s what priests and preachers and rabbis do.  And it’s no business of the government telling them what they can and cannot do in their own church, synagogue or mosque.

Catholic priest in handcuffs pedophilia sex abuse child

Catholic Priest via Shutterstock.

A successful effort by the Indiana Republican party, which controls the state House and Senate, to legislate the permitted, and banned, practices of Jews, Lutherans, Episcopalians, and other mainstream faiths would appear to fly smack in the face of ongoing religious right efforts to brand the civil rights of gays as a threat to religion.  In fact, it is anti-gay bigots who are now threatening to throw mainstream clergy in jail for simply practicing their faith.

The amended criminal code also addresses gay couples that apply for a marriage license at the county clerk.  But, contrary to some reports that are saying the legislature made it a felony to apply for a “gay” marriage license, at least one Indiana newspaper is claiming that the legislature actually decreased the existing penalty for gay couples attempting to marry from a maximum of three years to 18 months.

What the amended law does is change the “crime” of applying for a “gay” marriage license from a Class D felony to a Level 6 felony – Class D was the lowest rung in the old system, Level 6 is the lowest rung in the new system.  And with at least one Indiana press outlet claiming that the new Level 6 penalty is actually less than the old Class D, it’s not clear whether this might actually be a change for the better.

Along those same lines, it would be interesting to know whether it was illegal under the old criminal code for clergy to “solemnize” same-sex nuptials, or whether this is a new crime.  Regardless, the state Republican party either made it a crime, or intentionally kept it a crime, in the amended criminal code they just enacted into law.  And it’s creepy as hell that the state of Indiana thinks it can tell mainstream American religions how to practice their faith.

It’s one thing for Republicans to be anti-gay (and anti-black, anti-women, anti-Latino…), but I never thought I’d see the day they’d throw clergy in jail.  That day just arrived in GOP-controlled Indiana.

UPDATE: So the story gets even more interesting.  As I suspected, both laws were already on the books. Which still begs the question of why it’s illegal in Indiana for clergy to perform a gay marriage?  The Republican legislature amended the very part of the law dealing with marriage penalties, and they chose to leave in place the part that makes solemnizing gay nuptials illegal.  This, at the same time that anti-gay Republicans in the state, including the GOP governor, now want to pass a state constitutional ban on gay marriage, when such a ban already exists legislatively in the state.

Mind you, after the recent Supreme Court decision on DOMA, such bans – legislative or constitutional – are likely invalid under the US Constitution. But don’t let that stop Republicans from focusing like a laser beam on the most important issue facing their party – how to deflect attention away from the fact that they no longer have any ideas.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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418 Responses to “Indiana GOP passes law making it a crime for clergy to perform gay weddings”

  1. littlerunning spring says:

    I am a believer u want to throw us in jail for what wr believe God made male and female and but u say we dont have right to judge we can judgerightously about sin homosexually is against God and unbiblical and unless u repent u will go to hell. Truth is truth another about take the constitute an thing is obamacare I am not getting it u can ticket me but I dont have money to pay it so. This whole thing is that the goverment is doing is nothing but lies and deception and they are trying to put fear on people but its not working on my part. You can take thia stuff here from me but u can never take my Jesus in heaven from me. And all u who are worshipping obama he is not Jesus who died for the world sins Jesus is in heaven seated at the right hand of God. So if u dont believe about homosexual go to the reference bible look up the word homosexual and they go to the references in the bible and start reading what God did and will do to the homosexuals. So if u want true answer on bornagain go roman 10:9 remember key word is believe. Here’s a prayer repeat these

  2. Sheamus Warior says:

    Your articles don’t beat about the bushes these are actually exact t to the purpose.

  3. PlacidAir says:

    So what you’re really saying, is you have no answer for the question and your allegations are based on nothing other than spending too much time inhaling your own flatulence.



  5. MDW says:

    LOLOLOLOL So what do they think that this is going to make the LBGT Community flee Indiana? WRONG!!! Do they not realize this will all backfire against them one day! First off be whatever religion you want there is only ONE GOD!!! And he is the only one that can and will judge myself and others! But, I’m sure that was missed in the Bible right? I am a strong believer in GOD and guess what Yes I am GAY and proud! I don’t judge straight people nor anyone else! I cant help who I love nor can you or anyone but to put a law that says a man and a man or a woman and a woman can’t get married isn’t stopping anything WE WILL STILL LOVE WHO WE LOVE, LIVE TOGETHER, AND WORSHIP OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN. LIKE IT OR NOT GET OVER IT!

  6. Alan Batterman says:

    It would be Unconstitutional for a government to ban a house of worship from declaring a couple to be married “in the eyes of G-d.” Such a declaration would not allow the couple to claim benefits (unless a private employer would give them voluntarily). And if the couple were underage, would not allow sexual relations. It could also sanction a marriage involving more than two people for religious purposes only. Again such a declaration would have no standing whatsoever for civil purposes.

  7. Jeremy B says:

    But none of those things apply to this bill in Indiana. They’re not establishing a religion. They’re not telling people they can’t practice their religion (impeding the free exercise). They are just telling them they can’t do this one specific thing, which the majority of churches in Indiana wouldn’t allow anyway.

  8. babby660 says:

    there certainly were buddhist monks & muslims in the world when our constitution was signed. both religions predated the declaration of independence & thus the constitution by several thousand years.

  9. babby660 says:

    I don’t think ktorch said or even implied that all christians are anti-gay

  10. Alan Batterman says:

    It means a state cannot establish a religion, have double jeopardy, impose cruel or unusual punishment, have ex post facto laws, or anything else banned by the Constitution to the Federal government.

  11. Jeremy B says:

    Maybe. It doesn’t specifically say that. It says, “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States”. I still think a good lawyer could argue whether the law the State passed abridges any privileges or immunities of citizens, regardless of the U.S. Constitution.

  12. PlacidAir says:

    Not unless “civil unions” also apply to hetero-couples. States that have tried “civil unions” have ended up with differences in the rights and still had issues with hospital visitation, spousal benefits, etc. It is not equal, and would never be so.

  13. PlacidAir says:

    Good to know there are sane people there — it’s too bad the whackjobs are ruling the State. Good luck getting them dethroned next round.

  14. Tim Cooper says:

    Ah, okay. Thanks for the answer, Father.

  15. Abuela says:

    I am a Conservative Republican, Christian, Clergy, member of the ALCU, PETA, ASPCA. I believe in Freedom of religion, mine and that of others and that the church should not hide criminal activity. I believe in God, truth and equality. So before you bash the GOP, Christianity and the church know the facts. Keep in mind that not the GOP or any other organization speaks for ALL of the people in their group. There are powerful people in the GOP and Democratic party that are only concerned about their own money and agendas, they want to encourage dissention, dissatisfaction, mistrust and alienation between the people of the two parties. Don’t believe everything you read or hear especially in the news where facts are really distorted. Keep and open mind and heart otherwise you will just become another cog in the wheel, a part of the problem and not part of the solution.

  16. Abuela says:

    It is illegal for the clergy to perform a marriage or provide documentation attesting to the marriage of: siblings, 1st cousins, minors without legal documented parental consent and in most states gay couples. This is not a religious practice but a LEGAL binding state sanctioned contract solemnized by a person of the clergy, a judge or ship captain on behalf of the couple. This is why a marriage certificate has the words “according to the laws of the State of” in this case “Indiana.” It would be a lot easier if the states permitted civil unions. A civil union is a modern term for todays world, it eliminates the argument about gay ‘marriage,’ and provide the same legal protection and rights afforded heterosexual married couples. – Problem easily solved.

  17. Alan Batterman says:

    The 14th Amendment makes the US Constitution binding on the states.

  18. Alan Batterman says:

    First Amendment. The Second Amendment is the right to bear arms.

  19. nanny state! citizens of indiana, do you need the government to tie your shoes for you too?

  20. joelferguson says:

    This is where you and I agree. The freedom of association and religion is not only intrinsic in all of us, but we guaranteed it in the 1st.

  21. FatherLark Justin Muncy says:

    Not at all, I am an Old Catholic Priest, we are separated from the Roman Communion of Catholicism. The Vatican and the Roman communion has no bearing on our political or theological standpoints, we are much like the Anglican Communion, Catholic, yet reformed. Check us out…Old Catholicism,

  22. Alan Batterman says:

    The 14th Amendment extends the Bill of Rights to the States; states may not pass laws that violate the US Constitution.

  23. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Franklin may have occasionally sat in a Quaker meeting house, but that does not make him a Quaker. You can spend a lot of time in a garage, but that won’t make you a car.

    Franklin never married his “wife” and had three illegitimate children by two different women. He was also a Mason. None of those things are okay with most Quakers.

  24. Jeremy B says:

    Wow, one exception! Well, that obviously will show us!
    I’ve never heard anyone claim that Ben Franklin was a Deist – must have missed that one.

  25. Jeremy B says:

    Again, “the government” in SCOTUS test is the Federal government. Not the state government. The Constitution may or may not be binding on the state governments – I’m not sure if that case has ever been brought. I’m sure some lawyer out there will correct me if I’m mistaken. States have their own constitutions which they must follow, of course, but which don’t necessarily say anything about religion.

  26. Jeremy B says:

    That’s why I put “Christian” in quotes – only their definition of Christian counts with them. Learn to smell the sarcasm, people!

  27. Brian Case says:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
    prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
    speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
    assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    By Indiana Republicans breaking the “Separation of Church and State” that clearly makes up the beginning of our Constitution it will leave all clergyman open to State and Federal laws and remove the cloak the church has used to cover up the wrong doings of it’s staff. If this allowed all church’s will also have to pay taxes and abide by Indiana State laws including but not limited to reporting of all crimes committed by it’s members. Go ahead Indiana, break up the Constitution to fit your warped way of thinking, it will back fire on you.

  28. James Lovejoy says:

    But with no definition given under Title 31 which includes the law governing marriages, the ordinary or dictionary definition should be in effect.

  29. KenStarr says:

    Proving my long held view: Marriage is a contract.

    And if you don’t think so, if you decide to divorce, whom do you call first: your priest – or your lawyer?

  30. Kevin F. Casey says:

    Cite please that most of our founding fathers were Deists? Ben Franklin for example was a Quaker NOT a Deist as some claim.

  31. Kevin F. Casey says:

    The Lemon test voids this law.

    The SCOTUS established the “Lemon test”, which details the requirements for legislation concerning religion. It consists of three prongs:

    The government’s action must have a secular legislative purpose;

    The government’s action must not have the primary effect of either advancing or inhibiting religion;

    The government’s action must not result in an “excessive government entanglement” with religion.

    If any of these prongs are violated, the government’s action is deemed unconstitutional under the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

  32. Kevin F. Casey says:

    So all Christina s are anti gay? Care to tell that to the Gay & Lesbian Clergy of the more LIBERAL denominations?

  33. Kevin F. Casey says:

    Another unconstitutional Law by those who claim to champion “returning to the constitution”

  34. Kevin F. Casey says:

    You mean Conservative Fundamentalist Christian… The Metropolitan Community Church, Evangelical Lutherans Methodist & a few other CHRISTIAN churches not only have Gay members but Gay Clergy. So rather than paint an entire Religion with the same brush you might want to state who you take issue with.

  35. Gaidig Traon says:

    Clergy currently refuse to marry people who are legally allowed to marry all of the time. For example, if you are not a member of a particular church and do not attend services there regularly, most churches will refuse to let you be married at that church. I see no reason why the legal issue of marrying gay couples should be treated any differently on that score than hetero couples are currently being treated.

  36. MikeP says:

    His 4th Fact answered your question before you askep it.

  37. MikeP says:

    You have one fact wrong. These laws were not signed by Evan Bayh. These laws were signed in May of 1997 by Dem. Gov. Frank O’Bannon who was sworn in 1/13/1997.

    These are not the laws that gay rights activist in Indiana should worry about. The part of the code that needs to be amended is IC 31-11-1-1-a which says “Only a female may marry a male. Only a male may marry a female.”

  38. Jeremy B says:

    Yes, the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence mentions “our Creator”. What most Conservatives today seem to dismiss or gloss over, however, is that most of the Founders were not Christians by today’s standards but Deists. They certainly believed that there was a God. However, they did not believe that their God had a place in their government, unlike the religious conservatives of today.
    And what do the “native tribes” have to do with anything? Historically, there have been thousands of religions in the world, depending upon the time and the place. Some had one god; some had many gods. Some had a goddess. Even the ones with many gods frequently had one god in charge of the others, such as Zeus for the Greeks. And each religion eventually went out of style or was persecuted out of existence by a new one. Humanity’s fear of death and the unknown causes them to fabricate all sorts of fantasies.

  39. Jeremy B says:

    But Congress didn’t make this law – the state legislature did. Technically it’s a way around the Constitution, since the Constitution says nothing about state government prohibiting the free exercise of religion.

  40. Jeremy B says:

    You just don’t understand. Republicans are all for Freedom of Religion – as long as it’s their religion, i.e. “Christian”. Any religion that’s not Christian they don’t care about. And any religion that does non-Christian things like marry gay people obviously isn’t Christian enough, no matter what they claim to be.
    Actually, there is one exception to the Christian rule – and that’s Jews. But only Jews in Israel, because that’s in the Bible.

  41. Gregory Lowe says:

    I think you are missing the point. The blog is saying that the first amendment is being violated. Separation of church and state. You are talking about government benefits. Also the article is trying to say this is the republicans fault. In actuality this is not a new law. This was amendment to a reduced penalty along with other unrelated laws. The original law was written in the 90s by a bipartisan legislation and signed by a democratic governor. The law it self isn’t about just same-sex marriage. It covers all quote unquote illegal marriages performed by all those who perform marriages and certify them, not just clergy. The blogger is twisting facts to his agenda.

  42. nominalize says:

    Au contraire, mon frère: Article 433-21 of the penal code specifies that priests who conduct religious marriages that have not been validated by civil marriage face up to six months in prison.

    The thing is, the priest is not performing a marriage at all, in the eyes of French law — in France, only the civil marriage counts, since 1791.

  43. Alan Batterman says:

    I believe that if the house of worship makes it clear that this is not an official marriage, but simply a union recognized only by the religion, the state cannot prosecute. That would apply not only to a gay couple but an underage couple as well.

  44. brian_x says:

    Um… just because the words aren’t there verbatim doesn’t mean the concept isn’t. The phrase “separation of church and state” was coined after the fact to describe the effects of the parts of the Constitution that related to religion. But then, you don’t know the difference between the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, which isn’t even law and predates the Constitution by eleven years. Eleven years, by the way, under which the USA functioned under the hideously broken Articles of Confederation, which was exactly the kind of government the states’ rights crowd wants to go back to.

  45. kanehau says:

    In all states that allow gay marriage there are exceptions for clergy of all faiths that allow them to not do gay marriage if they do not want to.

    No clergy will go to jail (under any current laws) for NOT marrying a gay couple.

    On the other hand, businesses in the public sector (which does not include churches, etc) are required to service gays equally with everyone else – otherwise they can face fines and jail time. That, however, has nothing to do with gay marriage.

  46. fiona64 says:

    Precisely my point. :-)

  47. Anthony Edwards says:

    “Immoral’ is a matter of interpretation. Polygamy (polygany) laws are there to prevent a kind of slavery. Laws against incest vary from state to state. Under-age marriage does too, but is limited by the definition of legal adulthood. It isn’t prohibited federally just to be prohibited for any type of ‘moral’ reasoning. I think the ‘marrying animals’ prohibition has to do with lack of consent by one party. But hey, at least sex with animals is allowed in many states (just don’t have sex with an animal weighing over 40 lbs in Washington State) right? The government doesn’t legislate morality (or didn’t until the 1950’s).

  48. Anthony Edwards says:

    The entire city of Austin for instance, who elected not to seceed when Texas began the petition to do so.

  49. Anthony Edwards says:

    More than one Republican said the same thing, and the Republic was indeed proposed so that the ‘majority rule’ of ancient Greece wouldn’t sway politics with the emotions of the population, but when government gets voted in, and then laughs in our faces when we ask them why they’re acting the way they do, then nobody voted them in. What we voted in was a lie, and it’s a lie presented by both sides of the aisle. It’s much like giving a gun to the man who wants to kill us, convinced by his charisma that he will protect us. By the time he has the gun in his hand it’s too late, we’re shot, and he’s not going to hand over the gun without much difficulty, and probably a few more dead bodies. We’re digging our own grave, and the sad thing is we’re doing it with the sincerity of our convictions.

  50. Anthony Edwards says:

    The means justifies the ends to these people. They don’t care who they trample.

  51. Anthony Edwards says:

    Muslims, as referred to by the Treaty of Tripoli, as Musselmen were the subject of a law (The Treaty) which states that the United States is not a country founded on religion. Explicitly. Signed by John Adams and ratified by George Washington. If that’s not an endorsement of the separation of Church and State, nor Thomas Jefferson’s letters to the Danbury Baptists, I don’t know what is.

  52. Tim Cooper says:

    This is going to sound snarky, but I mean it in honest curiosity: how does that square with the Vatican and Church teaching?

  53. Jim Olson says:

    No, we don’t like the government telling us how to practice our faith. Does not matter if we are conservative or liberal.

  54. Warren Taylor says:

    Who voted for the lawmakers?

  55. wahoosam says:

    The Constitution never references a creator. You’re thinking of the declaration of independence.

  56. fiona64 says:

    . At the time, there were no Buddhists Monks, nor were there any Muslims

    ROFLMAO. You have no idea how very wrong you are. About so many things.

    First, the secular deist “Creator” reference is nowhere in the US Constitution. You are, perhaps, thinking of the Declaration of Independence, which is NOT the basis of law in this country.

    For your reference, the Preamble to the US Constitution is: We, the people, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare and secure the blessings of liberty for ourselves and for posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

    Not one peep about a “Creator” in the preamble as you claim here; One has to take the historical view of the times when the Constitution
    was constructed and signed. The Preamble states specifically that “our
    Creator” is the One who endowed us with those rights.

    And yes, sweetie, there were Muslims. Which brings me to my next point. Treaties, as I am sure that a ‘strict constructionist’ like yourself is aware, hold the force of law in this country unless and until they are revoked. The Treaty of Tripoli (which had a Muslim government in the 18th C.) is very clear in Article 11 that the United States government is “in no way founded upon the Christian religion.” And it’s never been revoked.

    You really, really, really need to go back to civics class before you boast any further of being a ‘strict constructionist’ about a document you’ve clearly never read. The only time religion is mentioned *at all* is in exclusionary terms (the First Amendment and Article VI).

  57. cincodenada says:

    Stop trying to make problems where there aren’t any. The law you’re railing against was put in place fifteen years ago, not “right now” when they’re hot buttons, and literally the only reason it’s in this article is because some laws nearby it in the code had “Class D” crossed out and “Level 6” written in instead, which had the effect of reducing penalties.

    Please, just stop. You’re spreading misinformation and fear and lies in an attempt to promote a good cause, and that only hurts us.

  58. cincodenada says:

    No! The laws didn’t have some sort of expiration date on them. The laws were on the books, normal, run-of-the-mill, enacted-until-further-notice laws. The revision was simply changing from a “Class A-D” to “Level 1-6” categorization for *all* felonies throughout the code. It’s taking place in 2014 because that’s when the State of Indiana decided to re-arrange their felony classification system.

    Just because a few outlets have told you that this is something to get up in arms about in some exceedingly poor journalism doesn’t mean they’re right.

  59. PopeyeTheTurtle says:

    Unfortunately, the definition that is now in vogue is erroneous on its face. Nowhere in the Constitution does it mention “Separation of Church and State”, just that “…..Congress can make no laws respecting an establishment of religion. or prohibiting the free expression thereof….. ” The arbitrary definition that is now used comes from one letter written by one signer to the Constitution. The SCOTUS at that time made the decision that that particular letter spoke for a the entire Constitutional Convention and all the signers.

    I don’t remember exactly how many people signed our Constitution, but it was significantly more than one.

    One has to take the historical view of the times when the Constitution was constructed and signed. The Preamble states specifically that “our Creator” is the One who endowed us with those rights. At the time, there were no Buddhists Monks, nor were there any Muslims. American Indians did have a religion, but they weren’t considered to be anything other than sub-human savages with no rights. Many of the various native tribes on our continent (and in South America) have religions that worship one God. They also have sub-gods they worship, but whose power is below God’s power (a different name for Angels and Demons, perhaps?).

    As an American Indian missionary, my step-dad successful many led many converts to the Christian religion by pointing out the similarities between the “Great Spirit” and God.

  60. cincodenada says:

    You missed the part where the part of the law that talks about solemnization wasn’t even touched by these recent amendments – it has been there exactly as-is since 1997, otherwise it would have “Amended ” after it.

    You’re trying to bend “solemnize” into things it’s not, and definitions that would never be supported by any judge, to justify your being caught up in this fearmongering.

  61. Earle Crosswait says:


  62. PopeyeTheTurtle says:

    Circular logic.

  63. Tom says:

    If you look at the section of the code saying “Who may solemnize a marriage” it lists, after clergy, judges, mayors, and clerks!

    Obviously, “solemnize” is not referring to a religious reality. Clergy can give whatever blessings or sacraments they want, and call it whatever they want, as long as they don’t attempt to solemnize a CIVIL marriage.

  64. David says:

    Yes, because the voters of Indiana had nothing to do with the current state of affairs in their own legislature. Hmm, somehow that previous sentence just doesn’t seem right does it?

    State political parties are not inter-changeable with national parties. In other words, as grotesque as the national party politics in the GOP & Dem. may be the state political parties offer much wider variation in their ‘likeability’ (case in point, AZ GOP, FL GOP, & TX GOP probably in that order).

    Indiana’s state politics are pretty low-brow and overly dominated by agricultural or manufacturing subsidies, & infrastructure (road) construction. Which, low and behold are bank-rolled by the federal government ~ 50%+.

    Their education is pretty poor in quality (student/pupil ratios, teacher salary, per capita cost per student) too on every dimension other than efficiency. This is mainly a result of geography, as schools can be much more centralized & spending decreases when you are on a “flat” playing field (much like your more illustrious neighbor to the west, IL). IN is at the middle or bottom of the pack in terms of teacher quality, per capita incomes (at x-education level), & % of population with college degrees.

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts… as the saying goes. So, if adding to that list that the “state legislature” or the “Indiana state GOP” or the “citizens that voted for this bunch of loony-tunes” are absolutely stark-raving mad or just unintelligent, unsophisticated & incapable of producing sensible public policy… then yeah… my statements could be classified as vitriol. I’d prefer to take a “they know not what they do..” approach than operating under the assumption that these people are intentionally trying to make a mockery of the political & moral realms of life. That borders on Mussolini/Hitler/Pol Pot/Stalin end of the spectrum of things. But then again, classifying people as zealots (particularly religious) would mean people would have to actually stand up & take responsibility for their complicit (or any otherwise) involvement in the whole shebang.

    ***Or maybe the criticism is justified & you should just get over it. I always thought calling a spade a spade was better than the alternative. Only time will tell I suppose….

    “I am not your average bozo, David. So you can stop with the condescending diatribe. I am also an educated voter from Indiana and I am aware of what this legislation represents. I also have no dog in the fight.”

    So much I could do with that segment. I don’t think my diatribe was all that condescending considering your meandering & rather pseudo-intellectual tone/statement. What’s the phrase? Arm-chair intellectual? Idiot savant? Whatever… anywho. We’ve already established the general quality of education in Indiana so moving aside from your specific case… in general one can expect to be more (or better) educated than the average Hoosier.

    “I also have no dog in the fight.” Oh, so you’re home-state bench-warming/cheerleading is just for fun then? Cool, then get outta here with your false sense of moral authority on all things Indiana. Either you’re in or you’re out but nobody can make that decision but yourself.

    As always, have a good one.

  65. David says:

    I never had pretense of knowing everything.

    I don’t really see how explaining the difference between “redneck” and “roughneck” and clearing up just how “Southern” Indiana can really be is… but alrighty everyone is entitled to their own opinion.

    “sustain an air of complete ignorance…” me doth think thou doest wax poetic on the topic.

    :-) thx for that concession on my level of education… i guess. have a good one.

  66. David says:

    Most if not all of them. I don’t own a car & therefore do not drive on the highway. :-) kthxbi

  67. CitizenVictory says:

    Republicans are hypocrites. Where’s all their crying about “freedom of religion” now?
    I can’t wait for the Indiana Republicans to get their arses handed to them in a huge federal lawsuit over this unconstitutional b.s. law they’re passing.

  68. Jim says:

    Wait a minute, this prohibits clergy from performing marriages that are otherwise illegal (“a marriage of individuals who are prohibited from marrying “), which could mean same sex, illegal age, whatever. If Indiana has legal same-sex marriages, this would not prohibit clergy from officiating.

  69. ktorch says:

    And this new block in the road by the infamous Republicans to take away out freedoms one by one to fit the pattern of a bunch of religious haters. This is not the first time Christians became oppressive toward those they did not like. They also deny women their rights and freedoms. They want to tell us who we can love when and how. Republicans, following in Hitlers footsteps.

  70. Gregory Lowe says:

    Actually all of the types of alternate marriages have happened. Just do a search on the internet. People have of course in the past have married without legally documentation same-sex, incest, minors and animals. What’s to say someone can’t start a religion tomorrow that says that this behavior is okay. What if some cleric started certifying these marriages. I don’t think the government is trying to regulate the religious ceremony. I think they are trying to regulate the legal parts of it. Who says that marriage is a contract and have to give legal and informed consent? The government, clergy, the different denominations, God, each individual? My first point is who decides right and wrong at the end of the day. Somebody has to. And if it is left up to each individual then we become more and more uncivilized. Second I’m no lawyer but there is a history of the government regulating marriage whether it is secular or non secular. This maybe unconstitutional but are all the other regulated religious marriage laws unconstitutional as well.

  71. Sarah Highnote says:

    I lived in Indy for 4 years. I was convinced I was back in the Deep South (where i grew up). Indiana is one of the most conservative states I’ve ever lived in. Ironically, i met some of the most liberal ppl while I lived there. We pretty much discovered that there was a very small, very vocal minority, and the rest were more of a live and let live kind of ppl.

  72. Sarah Highnote says:

    First the “feds” are not forcing religions to do anything. The religious institutions have the right to NOT perform ANY ceremony they want. In fact, many won’t perform a ceremony if one of the wedding party isn’t a member of the church. The Supreme Court basically came out as saying that the majority does not have the right to decide the minority’s civil rights. This isn’t a voting matter. This is a civil rights matter. Do you want ME to have veto rights of who you marry, where you live, what insurance you carry, when/where/how you have kids? Didn’t think so.

  73. Troy McCormick says:

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or
    prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
    speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
    assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    These are the first words in the first amendment of the constitution. Relgion separate from government was so important that this is how our constitution starts and it continues to be important.

  74. JohnJay60 says:

    For tax benefit and employee benefit and other reasons, marriage is monogamous. If someone can get multiple women (or men) to agree to ‘act’ as if they’re married, live in the same house, and so on, this is perfectly legal and I don’t think the government can stop anyone from ‘pretending’ to have multiple spouses, as long as legally they claim only one. The state does not regulate against multiple sex partners or multiple roommates. But allowing multiple people to share in a marriage benefit of taxes or Social Security payments would open the door to crazy abuse of the incentives intended for marriage.

  75. GonzoG says:

    They’re all for freedom, until the church ladies get squicked out.

  76. Scott says:

    Freedom of religion works both ways… Freedom from the “state” religion (establishment clause) and freedom to worship (free exercise clause). Both are part of our national fabric. If I read the statue correctly they are telling clergy how to run their churches, synagogues, mosques, etc. And this is small government???? WTF??

  77. Gary Harmer says:

    The midwest…whatever man…how do you define stupid?

  78. AussieInCanada says:

    Can you cite some examples of your claims? Asking us to “read the news” and “read history” is a cop out, and does not a counter-argument make. Read “How to argue for dummies”.

  79. Leo Buzalsky says:

    You had me at “Currently legally they can’t spiritually they can” and then you lost me. Perhaps the problem is that you are thinking that religions can marry a man to a woman legally? But the reality is they’re just a middle-person that helps fill out the paperwork and then they submit that paperwork to the government. Or maybe the problem is that you think religion owns or should own marriage? Sorry, they do not. If they did, then there would be no reason for the government to regulate marriage because of all that stuff you consider immoral. The government regulates that sort of thing because the government took ownership of marriage. Yes, it is unfortunate that they used the same exact term that religions use (or maybe culture imposed it…I don’t know the full details on the history of this). Maybe if they had started calling such arrangements something like “civil unions” years ago, we wouldn’t be making such equivocation errors yet today.
    In short, there are two types of marriage: legal and what I prefer to call ceremonial (though you might call it “spiritual” or perhaps “religious”). They are essentially independent of each other, though people often choose to have both kinds of marriage if they can. And, adding to the confusion, the ceremonial marriage can be used to satisfy requirements for the legal marriage. With all of that said, the government does not regulate religious marriage in any way, shape, or form. OK? The government regulates legal marriage. It does not, and never has, regulated religious marriage.

  80. rewinn says:

    On Government-Approved Religion is allowed in Indiana.
    That keeps the number of religions small. Therefore it’s “small government!!!”

  81. JPeckJr says:

    Donna, please get your amendments right. The second amendment is the one that protects the right to own a gun! The first amendment prohibits laws that restrict the free exercise of religion.

  82. JPeckJr says:

    IC 31-11-11-8 is not the only part of the Indiana marriage statute. I’d say look it up and see how “solemnize” is used and defined. I’ve pastored in two states, and read other marriage statutes, and have found it is commonly used. I have not done so for Indiana and cannot tell if it existing in the unrevised statute from this blog post alone, or the links.
    If it is a violation of a Constitution amendment, it is the Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment, not the Second Amendment.
    I maintain, though, it applies to all persons authorized to solemnize marriages and to all statuses of persons prohibited from marrying. This blog post says it is targeted at clergy doing religious wedding ceremonies for same-gender couples. If my religion had a teaching that all persons must be married by their 13th birthday, and the age of consent is 17, those marriages would not be legal and I would have committed a misdemeanor. Although, at the same time, the state would not have issued a marriage license to two 12 year olds regardless of our religious teachings.
    I agree with the idea of changing our marriage laws to remove all clergy from being agents of the state in solemnizing marriages. I believe all couples wanting to be married should be married in a civil ceremony. If they want a blessing from their religious community, that is their choice, but the marriage is solemnized by a civil marriage administrator.

  83. Leo Buzalsky says:

    So…is it that this law was made to be effective until 2014 and they are renewing it? That’s really what I’m missing here…despite all these supposed* facts you have provided, you have failed to explain why this is taking effect in 2014.

    * I’m not disputing your claims, I’m just saying that I have not taken the time to verify.

  84. Donna Griffin says:

    I think the part in question is whether or not a clergy member can be arrested and fined for a ceremony which does not produce a license. That sounds like a violation of the second amendment to me.

    Also whether or not the law has been on the books since DOMA was passed or not does not have any bearing on whether or not it is Constitutional. Gays are very much being singled out right now and as soon as gays start applying for marriage licenses to challenge this law we’ll see arrests and there will be court cases saying that their civil rights have been violated. It will be “person X & person Y v. The State of Indiana”. I don’t see that the author is saying that anyone wants to arrest gays or clergy members but that the laws in Indiana are so bad, so extreme, that it allows for that. If you don’t have same sex marriage then you turn someone away at city hall when they apply for a license. You don’t interfere with religious ceremonies without marriage licenses.

    These laws don’t exist to this degree because anyone wants 13 year olds to serve jail time for applying for a marriage license. This is about homophobia. Sexual orientation and sexual identity are hot buttons in this country right now and we can expect to see more like this before it gets better. There was a time we accepted racism and second class treatment of women because that is how this country was. Now when we stumble upon it or something like this we recognize the discrimination and yes, we call a bigot a bigot (or in this case a group of law making bigots a bunch of bigots). Funny how quickly second amendment rights got violated by those one would expect to call for freedom of religion for this same purpose when it suited their needs.

  85. Leo Buzalsky says:

    Looking closer at this though (thanks to other comments below, particularly Shane’s), it looks like this may have actually been added in 1997 and was made effective until 2014. They may perhaps just be renewing the law? Note that the quoted law states, “As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.3.”

  86. Donna Griffin says:

    Though I believe I follow where you are going here I also believe that you missed an important point. The term in question is “solemnize”. I know that is in the amended code but I don’t know if that word was in the original. Why that is important is that though the term is used it is not defined (very common in bills and laws unfortunately). There is use of the word Indiana Code 31-11-11-8 which implies that you solemnize a marriage ceremony before actually filing for a marriage license. As we know a same-sex couple can not apply for a marriage license in the state of Indiana so when you solemnize a same-sex marriage ceremony it must be something you do on a purely religious level and without a marriage license, with no civil level at all. Based on that the civil authorities are directly telling the clergy that they cannot perform a religious and completely non-civil ceremony or be faced with jail time and a fine of $1,000. That is a violation of the second amendment.

    Though I don’t agree that any part of DOMA should stand or that any state should have a law on their Constitution against same-sex marriage (or limit any civil right or put it up for popular vote) I do agree with your take on clergy following the laws of the land and/or choosing civil disobedience. Perhaps it would make things easier if the license and certificate were just done on a civil level with a fill in date shown and the ceremony were merely for ceremonial purposes (as the name suggests). Stop placing civil power in the hands of clergy and truly separate the two and then there will be no reason for anyone to tell them what kind of ceremonies to hold.

  87. Dirge says:

    It does not specify who has to prohibit the marriage. Therefore I prohibit all weddings in Indiana. Now all clergy will go to jail if they marry anyone. Take that engaged people.

  88. Bob Carpenter says:

    I thought of that right after posting, and you’ve validated my suspicion.
    Thank you

    I’m waiting for the denominational split to reoccur with the foreshadowed GOP split. I’m hoping the playing field will level out once the christian moral monopoly dissolves.

  89. Leo Buzalsky says:

    Your statement implies that you don’t think this is religion interfering with politics. I suspect it is. It just that it happens to be religion interfering with politics in order to interfere with religion. The mistake, perhaps, is viewing religion as though it were one united entity? It should be obvious that it is not. (And this is precisely the reason we have separation of church and state — back those 200+ years ago, the many denominations of Christianity got along far worse than they do today. Actually, these denominations really only started playing nice within the past century.)

  90. Jeremy P. says:

    Well, well, well. All the fundie screaming about how allowing gay marriage violates their freedom of religion leads them to… violate people’s freedom of religion. Inception!

  91. mike31c says:

    Hmm, I wonder if these right-wing-nut-jobs in Indiana even has respect for their own state Constitution?

  92. William Murnahan says:

    right wing Republican’s voting in a law telling a church that it can’t
    preform a ceremony, but they don’t want the government telling a church
    that their insurance policy has to cover contraception.

  93. James1754 says:

    What hours are they using? Our polls are open from 6 AM to 7 PM. I do not like early voting because it costs money and I do not see the need for it, and absentee ballots are available for those who have trouble getting to the polls(that is a personal opinion).
    The ID law makes perfect sense. You should have to show who you are to exercise your franchise. As for type of ID, nearly every law I have seen requires a government issued ID, and I have never met a college student, thought I am sure there are some, who did not have a drivers license. Also under these laws the IDs are free if you cannot afford one.
    We do not have the stupidity of “gun license cards” in my state.

  94. Darrell Hobbs says:

    Nope, none of them got my vote. Seems most Indiana republicans are no better then the ones from Texas. I guess I’m lucky to live in one of the less conservative parts of the state. Unfortunately, for now, we’re in the minority (as far as representation). With republicans being in power after the last census, of course the district borders were once again drawn very favorably for a republican dominated government. It isn’t a fair representation of the state. True, this is *still* a red state, but not as red as our state government would lead others to believe.

  95. Bob Carpenter says:

    I’m always a loud voice of separation of church and state. Usually I am denouncing religion’s interference with politics. But fair is fair, and I hate being a hypocrite. This has got to be the first time I’m trying to remind the state to stay out of religion. WTF GOP? Ever heard of the First Amendment?

  96. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Totally. If one is going to be snarky, I suggest they not do so on a blog on which they have never posted. Otherwise, they could end their post with a “/snark”.

  97. Lys says:

    Yeah? Welcome to my world. I live in Texas and every time something happens here we get those kinds of comments all of the time. Things like, “We should LET Texas secede!” and “Stupid rednecks!” and so on. Despite the fact that there are quite a LOT of folks in Texas who don’t agree with Governor Perry and his far Right agenda.

  98. MSchaut says:

    No doubt they’ll be more than happy to punish churches who DON’T and CANNOT marry gays, even if that TOO is a violation of freedom of religion. All this has gotten way out of hand, for the reason that it has been beyond compromise, painted as a civil rights issue, and those unenumerated ‘civil rights’ trump Constitutional ones.

  99. JPeckJr says:

    I am not a resident of Indiana, but I am a clergy person in the United Church of Christ, one who has solemnized marriages for same-gender couples in a state where it is legal. I also have not read all the comments, so these points may have been made.
    This provision is not targeted at clergy conducting religious blessings of same-gender couples. As I understand from having clicked on the link in this post, Indiana is making a comprehensive revision of its marriage laws. The unrevised law has the same provision. A person who is authorized to solemnize a marriage between two people who are not legally permitted to marry can be charged with a misdemeanor. While Indiana is a one man / one woman state, this provision also applies to a marriage between two 12 year olds (below the age of consent), or two persons one of whom is comatose (unable to give consent), or two persons one of whom is still married to another person (being married to more than one person at a time is illegal). If I know, as a clergy person, that there is a legal impediment to a couple being married, I should not solemnize the marriage. The provision applies to all persons authorized to solemnize marriages, not clergy only — “a person.” Marriage statutes have more provisions than just which genders can marry.
    In 21st century America, whether religious bodies like it or not, marriage is primarily a matter of civil law not religious teachings. Under the law, marriage is defined as a civil contract, not a religious sacrament. Solemnization is the legal process of entering into that contract with an officiant and witnesses. Solemnization includes consent to be married to one another, promises made to one another, a proclamation of the marriage by the officiant, and the submission of a valid state-issued marriage license signed by the two parties, the officiant, and the minimum number of witnesses required by state law. Solemnization does not in any way refer to the tone, mood, or content of the contracting ceremony, which we usually call a wedding.
    In every state, a marriage is not solemnized under the law unless a marriage license is issued by the state. Churches do not issue marriage licenses. A church might provide a couple with a ceremonial document commemorating the marriage, but that is not the same as a state-issued marriage license or certificate. In Indiana, a marriage license will not be issued by the state to a same-gender couple. Thus, even in Indiana, a wedding for a same-gender couple conducted by a clergy person does not make the couple married under the law, even if the church recognizes and blesses the relationship. Such a blessing is not made illegal by this provision.
    However, if a same gender couple presents an Indiana clergy person with an Indiana marriage certicifcate, and, knowing that Indiana would only issue such a certificate if it did not know the genders of the couple thus suggesting fraud, and that clergy person proceeded to solemnize the marriage, I would imagine the clergy person is subject to prosecution under this provision. As I completely support marriage equality, if I lived in Indiana, I might very well be willing to participate in such a solemnization as an act of civil disobedience and to create a test case.

  100. Shane says:

    I haven’t see so many inaccuracies in one article in a long time. The fact that people are believing them hook line and sinker just shows how easy it is to manipulate those who don’t bother to consider facts.

    FACT – these laws were passed in 1997 by a evenly split House and signed by Governor Evan Bayh – a Democrat.
    FACT – the laws in question make it illegal for same sex marriages, sibling marriages, first cousin marriages, bigamist marriages, and minor (under 17) marriages. The criminal code applies the same to all of these classifications. Gays are not singled out in this sense.
    FACT – not a single vote related to gay marriage was made in this legislative session.
    FACT – the change to laws passed this year related ENTIRELY to the classification of felonies and misdemeanors for ALL crimes in the Indiana Code.
    FACT – the penalties for the crimes passed in 1997 have actually been reduced.
    FACT – since 1997, not a single gay person or clergy member has been prosecuted for violating any of these crimes.

    Here is the REAL story – Indiana has some bad laws on it’s books that were passed by an evenly divided government back in 1997 and signed by a Democrat governor. We need to work to change them.

    Here is the story the author wants to spin – The current Indiana GOP wants to arrest gays and clergy members.

    Those of us who are better informed aren’t going to fall for your bullshit.

    You are welcome for your daily dose of truth.

  101. Jozef Schutzman says:

    They have done that since the American Civil War…read history

  102. Jozef Schutzman says:

    Um, thats precisely what the Feds do…read the news

  103. Hendronicus says:

    Do you think that’s an accident?

  104. PlacidAir says:

    I certainly don’t think it’s the entire population — unfortunately, it is enough of the population that those asshats are in office.

  105. PlacidAir says:

    How, exactly, are the “Feds” not “stick[ing] to the rules”? Laws which limit the rights of ANY individual in this country and make them 2nd class citizens are unConstitutional (and unconscionable)… and should be struck down.

  106. PlacidAir says:

    Did you vote them in? The voters are the ones who have the power to change who’s in office. Why would I want my $ to go to the idiots who voted for them? So yes, if it matters to your bottom line and life — perhaps you’ll do something to change it.

  107. Jozef Schutzman says:

    Hahaha! Go Indiana! Hey if the Fed’s trying to enforce laws on religion to permit Sodomite “unions,” than Indiana should have the right to do the same, just against the rainbow peoples….I think it is absolutely hilarious be it unconstitutional probably, that hasn’t stopped the Feds at all…if they aren’t going to stick to the rules, than we are obliged not to either.

  108. Caitlynn P says:

    As much as I agree that this is wrong, I really find it very surprising how many people are just outright insulting Indiana citizens in their feedback here. I apologize for my frankness, but I’m a Hoosier myself, and not all of us are like that, not by far. Whenever I see people insulting a group of people, whether it be a general statement or a direct insult towards a ‘stereotype’ or just towards ‘that group of people over there who associate with each other’,

    I think it makes that person look very, very ignorant and close-minded.

    I don’t insult you, your mother, your race, or your state of residence.
    So please, keep your bigoted self-righteous comments to yourself, and I will do the same.

  109. Brian McCarty says:

    Touche LScott. I find it odd that the same code is listed as having two meanings from the same website. I found something from Indiana trying to explain the law a little further. Though it concedes that the law is still to prevent LG’s from marrying, it goes on to say that this isn’t a new law but them just revising a law that was enacted in 1986 and revamped again in 1997. I apologize for the name calling, however, it still helps to look up the law and not just jump to conclusions.

  110. Nya says:

    Was the sarcasm of Gregory’s post lost on you? He was exaggerating to make a point.

  111. Young Black and Proud says:

    marriage licence or certificate = civic = govt authority
    marriage ceremony = religious/faith experience = not govt business
    separation of church and state

  112. JCHSALEM says:


  113. JCHSALEM says:


  114. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    If blog journalism is shoddy, why do you read blogs? There are many other things of which you can complain.

  115. johnu1 says:

    Everybody in America receives federal services. Which highway did you not drive last year?

  116. johnu1 says:

    I concede that the legislature and the governor are members of the GOP. It doesn’t mean that all Republicans support a measure or that all Democrats oppose it. The main point is that this story is quite misleading in content and context. The nature of blog “journalism” is as shoddy as the morons who keep tinkering with morality.

  117. johnu1 says:

    Your pure and sensitive approach to basic governmental civics is enlightening. The fact remains that this “news story” is overly aggressive in attacking the Republican Party, with whom I hold absolutely nothing in common. However, the legislature … and it would be accurate to say the legislature did this, not the political party.

    In any case, this epiphany of a news development is flagrantly misleading, over-the-top propaganda that doesn’t even come close to explaining the legislation. It implies laws that don’t exist, assumes penalties that are unenforceable and … worst of all, allows people like you to continue to spread vitriol about an entire state of people who are really not involved in this.

    I am not your average bozo, David. So you can stop with the condescending diatribe. I am also an educated voter from Indiana and I am aware of what this legislation represents. I also have no dog in the fight.

  118. johnu1 says:

    Once again, Mister Know Everything, there are lots of people in Indiana who would prefer to be treated with some respect. I doubt you understand that and while you insist on being rude, arrogant and flat-out wrong, you do sustain an air of complete ignorance. That established, anything else you have to contribute is suspect. But I will concede that nobody in Indiana pays any taxes so it really was your parents who are liable for your education — what there was of it.

  119. Labradrooler says:

    I do not understand the legislation arresting ministers for arresting GAYS. Ministers do not marry GAYS. GAYS MARRY GAYS. The minister is only a whittness to the ceremony.

  120. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Adding on to Dinka’s reply – Statutory rape is against the law. Also, legal marriage is a contract, and minors and animals cannot give legal, informed consent.

  121. LScott says:

    You are wrong. The code states “A person who knowingly solemnizes a marriage of individuals who are prohibited from marrying by IC 31-11-1 commits a Class B misdemeanor.” IC 31-11-1 (here: lists couples prohibited from marrying.

  122. IndyChick says:

    Pence and his “posse Repubs” are just as bad as the Governor of Florida….. Where do we find these people and what kind
    of idiot votes them in…..???? All I can say is wow….

  123. TheLump says:

    Those dang “somlemnites”, committing “solemny”. They shall be struck down like the city of Solemn.

  124. Mixxmaster Shawn says:

    Shortening voting time as in shortening the hours that you can vote so people who work 9-5 jobs can’t get there in time. And if you don’t like voting early, don’t vote early. But don’t restrict it for others that do. The ID really doesn’t make sense because incident of voter fraud is almost nonexistent. A lot of old people don’t have a driver’s license or the kind of ID that some places require. Why is it some places accept a gun license card but not a college ID? Hmmm…..Which party do college kids generally vote for? There is your answer.

  125. Dinka says:

    The government is NOT allowed to stop the Mormons from marrying multiple wives, spiritually. LEGALLY, the government can can. The government is NOT allowed to come into the church and tell a priest, pastor, rabbi, etc what ceremonies they are allowed to perform. If someone wants to marry three or four people spiritually and all of these people involved are consenting adults, then so be it. This Indiana ruling is, simply and straightforwardly, against the law.

    Here’s the difference between the same-sex marriage argument and the multi-partner marriage issue: as it stands, it is legal throughout the country for an adult man and an adult woman to get a government-recognized marriage license. With that legal binding, they are allotted legal benefits for the both of them, including tax deductions and reducing tax penalties

    I’m going to focus on the tax issues for the sake of this specific argument.

    These tax issues currently only benefit marriages between a man and a woman nationwide. This benefit DISCRIMINATES against same-sex couples, because these citizens who identify as homosexual are not able to receive these benefits that citizens who identify as straight are able to attain. Is that fair? It is not, on the most basic financial level – we are EXCLUDING a group of American citizens from the right to receive tax benefits based on their sexual orientation.

    NOW, if someone who believes in polygamous marriage wants to receive these benefits, they sure can. They can get legally married in the eyes of the government. They can receive those tax benefits….ONCE. Just like everyone else. When someone in a polygamous marriage, however, tries to involve more than one partner in the tax benefit allotment, they are asking for MORE benefits than everyone else in doing so by involving additional parties. A good example is – if a guy makes more money than wife 1, she brings him into her lower tax bracket. If guy marries wife 2, who makes less money than guy AND wife 1, should she be able to bring BOTH of them into wife 2’s lower tax bracket? NO – at that point, the marriage becomes a means of avoiding paying taxes (even if it’s not on purpose).

    The comparison between gay marriage and polygamous marriage in the eyes of the government is not appropriate. If you want to make it an argument on your own spiritual or religious beliefs, that’s one thing…but in terms of what the government should be involved in, it’s not an applicable comparison.

  126. Gregory Lowe says:

    Why is it okay for government to stop the Mormons from marrying multiple legal wives? Currently legally they can’t spiritually they can. What if a religion wants to marry adults to minors, legally? What if a religion wants to marry humans to animals, legally? From what I read is that you can’t get a gay marriage license, that doesn’t stop a religious ceremony. The problem actually when government started regulating marriage, because of all the immoral stuff like bigamy, marrying into incest and minors. Government has been regulating (religious) marriage way before gay marriage.

  127. angie497 says:

    Um, no. Under the ACA, businesses that are owned and operated by a religious group are required to offer health insurance coverage that provides contraception unless they qualify for an exemption. That health insurance is part of the compensation that each employee earns, just like their salary or their time off. Just like an employer cannot tell you how to spend your paycheck or what to do with your vacation, an employer cannot tell you what medical decisions you can make.

    It’s not comparable to telling a vegan restaurant that they must provide a meat-option on their menu. To use your analogy, the owners of a vegan restaurant are not allowed to tell employees that they can’t buy milk or eat a hamburger. And the owners of a vegan restaurant aren’t allowed to exclude coverage for treating heart disease or high cholesterol if their employees choose to eat steak.

    Unless adopting & following the owner’s personal religious beliefs is an integral part of and/or a requirement of a job, then the owner cannot make benefit decisions for employees based on those beliefs.

  128. FreedomRings says:

    I am so glad I moved out of that state 20 years ago. Still as backwards as ever!

  129. Anon says:

    If you are referring to this ( that would be Atheists/Agnostics in first place.

  130. Mozzer says:

    With both houses and the governor being Republicans, they can pass any law they want, but it doesn’t mean it will hold up in court. They know this. Most of the legislators are lawyers themselves. They are well aware of religious freedoms. What this is is clear pandering to their conservative constituents. That’s all.

  131. Griz says:

    You do know that Mor(m)ons, as you call them, are the religious group that has been shown to know the most about religion in general, right?

  132. oaklandj says:

    Yes. There isn’t a single Jew (unless s/he’s running for political office) that believes that “Judeo-Christian” is a meaningful term at all.

  133. angie497 says:

    I’m not sure that it changes too much to know that what appears to be a flagrantly unconstitutional law has been on the books for 15 or so years instead of being something new. No matter how you look it at, it certainly appears that the law criminalizes a religious ceremony.

  134. Anon says:

    pish! Let them eat cake! So much for the whole unholy union of Judeo- and Christian values, huh? Then again, Evangelicals are not a very philosophically or theologically versed bunch. More like snake-handling holy-rollers or Mor(m)ons if you ask me.

  135. David says:

    lolz… South of Chicago!

    No but srsly.. it’s pretty much on par with western Missouri (anything west of St. Louis) in terms of being classified as a backward, toothless, rather uninteresting & dogmatically religious place.

    The colloquial/regional idiom would be more akin to “roughneck” than the more Southern “redneck”… Midwestern-speak for “poor white trash.”

    I tend to agree with that classification.

  136. Brian McCarty says:

    And you are also an idiot. Read the damn law! It has NOTHING to do with LGBT rights! All the law is saying is that it is illegal to wed people when you know they have falsified information to obtain their marriage license. Oh, but let me guess. You would rather blindly follow what reporters say? I support equal rights for the LGBT community, I really do. This law however, has nothing to do with that.

  137. David says:

    Could this new legislation be considered a bill of attainder & then unconstitutional as a result in that case (either pre- or post-SCOTUS rulings recently handed down).

  138. oaklandj says:

    Reform, Reconstructionist, and Conservative Judaism all permit religiously-consecrated marriages. That’s about 80% of religious Jews in the US.

  139. wjshelton says:

    Wow, this is enough to make me want to get ordained, just to be able to “solemnize” a marriage in order to challenge the law. It is quite clearly unconstitutional.

  140. Indiana Lawyer says:

    Law has been on the books since 1997 (thats whats :As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.3. means), 1997 being the year after Bill Clinton (D) signed the DOMA into law. Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of Indiana Law or legislatures in general should be outraged at how horribly factually inaccurate and misleading this piece is.

  141. Decatur_Joe says:

    Indiana is the South?

  142. David says:

    To ignore partisan ties between legislators is really fool-hearty. I mean, parties exist to be elected & to control political offices.

    Parties also exist to control institutional offices & resources (read: chamber leadership, committee chairpersons, … etc. etc)

    Parties also exist to organize legislative voting coalitions. If one does not reasonably “vote their party” then that begs the question; why are they in that party to begin with? That isn’t so much to do with the “true” ideological position of a particular individual as much as it has to do with legislators being able to reasonably expect who will or won’t support their legislative initiatives. Much the same that individuals do; party groups do as well.

    The basic expectation is that a party in power (read: in control of legislative resources, offices, a chamber) will not permit a floor vote on policy that the majority of it’s members (or just the party leadership in chamber) are opposed. If this does occur it is commonly referred to as a “log roll” and is perceived to be a “policy defeat” for the government.

    Since the GOP controls the legislative apparatus of the “great state of Indiana” they satisfy the criteria of 1) controlling chamber/institutional resources, 2) controlling the government at the same time. The counter-factual, minority governments or coalition governments are not present & not pertinent due to American electoral laws. The Indiana GOP satisfies both criteria simultaneously.

    Now, the reason the “Indiana GOP” passed a law is because they control both chambers, and therefore a majority of the committee leadership positions and a majority of the votes. In fact, last I checked the Indiana GOP had a “supermajority” which permits the governing legislative voting coalition to inter-change many members in their final floor-passage voting calculus since they do not have to rely on a mere majority to pass the policy. This typically permits greater leverage to party leadership in deciding what gets put on the legislative agenda (controlling committee votes, and final floor time/resources/voting rules).

    The fact of the matter is that the “Indiana GOP” passed a law because the “Indiana GOP” voted (as a super-majoritarian voting coalition) to pass a policy. Your claim that partisan labels do not matter inside a legislative chamber wreaks of nihilism at worst, or a clear disregard for organizational theory & a large part of organizational economics at best.

  143. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Perhaps you didn’t read this phrase, “A successful effort by the Indiana Republican party, which controls the state House and Senate.” Is it your argument that the legislature and the governor are not Republican?

  144. James1754 says:

    Shortening voting time? As for the ID, that one only makes sense. Personally I have never liked early voting, if you have a problem getting to the polls, then get an absentee ballot.

  145. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Hon, I can read. Apparently, you can’t.

  146. Gary Harmer says:

    Maybe now people will finally understand why politics and “religion” should not be mixed. That is everyone but those who live in the south.

  147. David says:

    Since you are clearly trying to over-compensate for a feeling of insecurity & inferiority… I think I will just leave it at that.

    Although I am rather perplexed by your statement about insulting millions of “decent people” who “pay for [my] right to be an American.”

    As far as I was aware the only people who had to pay for my right to be an American were my mother and father (count 2; population of Indiana count ~ 6.5 million). The constitution gives natural birth right to citizenship to individuals born of two American citizens within the established boundaries of the United States. So, I don’t know wtf you meant, or were implying by that one.

    According to the IRS (2007; Excel file format) (see: ) Indiana is 22nd in total tax revenue contribution. So, there are a couple of more million “decent people” who “help pay for [my] right to be an American” that are in line ahead of a ‘fine people of the great state of Indiana’ that I need to thank. It would probably take a while, so I think I’ll pass. By the way, I don’t receive any federal services other than my mail of which I am aware. So, I think you’re raising a pretty moot point.

    I don’t see how any of that bears on my original statement though.

    Good luck buddy! Have a great day!

  148. Tuck Steelman says:

    “One group of preachers telling another group of preachers what they can and cannot do based on their particular interpretation of the bible, which disagrees with the other group of preachers interpretation.” Which is why “The US is a secular state. It is the only way to protect civil and religious liberties for all its people. Anything less than the secular state insures the dominance of one faith over another.” Do we need a better example of what happens when the secular state fails, than what you have put forth here?

  149. DebofAmber says:

    You mean businesses owned by religions.

    This was something decided long ago that companies owned by religious groups have to follow government rules and regulations. Hauling it out again just shows us how anti-women the GOP is.

  150. DebofAmber says:

    Do you make the same claim about abortion? That was in the party platform too.

  151. Heather O'Keefe says:

    Well, I say let it be tested to the highest court of violation of interfering with the practice of one’s religion. I don’t see this holding up in the Supreme Court, as this law is in direct violation of government not interfering in religious observations and rights.
    So what’s next with the GOP in Indiana? Reinstate witch hunts, dunking, and hangings? Revoke women and minorities rights to vote? Maybe reinstate slavery?
    Honestly, what is it with the GOP and progress? And what the hell is wrong with the people that vote these yahoos into office in the first place?

  152. johnu1 says:

    It’s posturing. Gay marriage isn’t recognized in Indiana anyhow and to pass a law regulating it is purely for political theater. It can’t be challenged in court because there is no conceivable legal precedent to argue. In any case, the “GOP” can’t pass a law. The state legislature can approve one but Indiana isn’t 100 percent GOP on any level. Not even close. The blogger would have needed to research that but that’s too difficult when you want to try to make fools out of people.

  153. johnu1 says:

    I can’t say for sure, but most of the people I know aren’t even interested in the issue here in Indiana. There are plenty of folks who probably do have an opinion, but I doubt they express it as … “Well, I’m a Democrat, so my opinion is ….” These national “blogs” really are clueless about people. They get a rub-off when a conservative law is approved and suddenly spray us all “red” and attack us as being reactionary.

  154. johnu1 says:

    I live in Indiana, David. Since you are clearly adroit on everybody who lives there, we hope you DO stay away. There’s no call for this sort of insult to the millions of decent people who help pay for your right to be an American.

  155. johnu1 says:

    The Indiana GOP “passed” a law? Maybe if the author of this yarn knew that political parties don’t pass laws, it would help with the standard stereotypical bashing.

  156. Cringeworthy says:

    And technically, the term is “autistic.” An “autist” is someone, who, I don’t know, plays the ute, I guess.

  157. Cringeworthy says:

    But what’s an “austist?” If you would care to read a tad more closely, you’ll see that’s what’s embedded in his name…

  158. Cringeworthy says:

    …and AR drops the mic and walks off the stage.

  159. Pete Davis says:

    Oh good. We’re going to start legislating religion. Just what the founding fathers had in mind.

  160. shawn_non_anonymous says:

    Religions don’t have employees. Corporations have employees. Churches (incorporated as such) do have employees and they are exempted from the contraceptive mandate in the ACA. Businesses that are owned by churches or by members of a religion are not exempted. If a religious business was exempted, Chick-fil-A employees would be unable to get the coverage. Now, if you can make the argument that fast food management and employees are a “religion,” go for it.

    I think you have the limitations backwards, too. From an employee’s perspective, should the employer be able to limit your access to health care you find morally acceptable but your employer does not? In a situation where an employer can legally hire based on religious belief (church employees) sure. Otherwise, no. Religious freedoms are in danger from employers who believe they should be able to enforce their beliefs on their employees.

  161. David says:

    Indiana sucks anyway. All the more reason to stay away.

  162. Till Würfelzucker says:

    I guess jailing priests is cheaper than employing social workers for overcrowded jails, and you really can not expect the poor private prison service providers to pass on such a opportunity of cost reduction now can you?!

  163. No, it would be like not allowing the employees to purchase meat with their salary. Health insurance is part of a benefits package to the employees, and how they use it is between them and their primary care of choice. You don’t get to pick and choose what they buy with their money, do you?

  164. AR says:

    Really? Someone should have mentioned that to the Republican party when they were writing their 2012 platform.

  165. The law is worded badly. A person can perform a civil ceremony and sign a marriage license, and a person can perform a religious ceremony with no marriage license. If a marriage license is involved, state law is involved; signing a marriage license for a couple not qualified under state law to be wed is a fraud committed against the state. If no marriage license is involved, the state has no jurisdiction. A couple forbidden the status and privileges of marriage under state law cannot be forbidden, in most cases, to live together. (An exception would be an adult living in a sexual relationship with a minor.)

    The way the law is written, officials can choose to apply it sensibly, to target only those who knowingly sign fraudulently-obtained marriage licenses. The way it is written, hostile officials could also choose to apply it against anyone performing a commitment ceremony, with no attempt to get legal status for it. The moment somebody gets arrested for just performing a religious commitment ceremony, however, this will go to court and be overturned, with a judge directing the legislature to make its intent clearer next time.

  166. Athildur says:

    ‘the autists’. As in, the people who have autism. If you don’t know what it is, look it up.

  167. Athildur says:

    If you are against abortion, you have every right to be. You do not, however, have the right to deny others the opportunity. That is their business, and something they will have to reconcile with their own faith, if any. You cannot liken a restaurant to a job, people do not have the luxury of not taking a job because their boss might be a ‘Christian’. You do have the luxury of plenty of restaurants to choose from, or just making your own food.

    Religious freedoms are not in danger the way you describe it. The only thing in danger is that you are now starting to face difficulty in trying to force others to live through your religious choices (also known as oppression). You never had the right to do that to begin with. The sooner you realize this, the sooner you can come to terms with the world. Your religion is your business, and you have no right to force others to live by your religious rules.

  168. RoyWatson says:

    “I never thought I’d see the day they’d throw clergy in jail. That day just arrived in GOP-controlled Indiana.” – or else it arrived some time ago; as you say, you don’t know “whether it was illegal under the old criminal code for clergy to “solemnize” same-sex nuptials, or whether this is a new crime”. Obviously it’s bad either way, but “something is bad” isn’t a usable story. You know this, so you’ve tried to make it “They’ve DONE something bad”, except you don’t know what it is they’ve just done (as you also say, they may even have mitigated a previously existing badness) or when they did it. But as you demonstrate, shock journalism and journalistic scruples don’t mix.

  169. halfbeing says:

    I think it is a no-brainer that this law is unconstitutional, in which case you should simply ignore it.

  170. goulo says:

    Fred, I think the word “socialist” does not mean what you think it means.

  171. Rebecca says:

    Why are so many of you stereotyping Republicans? Being Republican has absolutely nothing to do with banning homosexual marriage.

  172. Gary Harryman says:

    Smells like a kind of Republican/Christian Sharia Law.

  173. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    What is an austists?

  174. Hodor says:

    Erm. May want to read his name… ‘Never argue with a fool, no one will tell you apart’.

  175. Anon says:

    Wow. You’re American? Why the fuck can’t you write English then? You should work on that grammar.

    *politics *you’re *then

  176. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    India? Really?

  177. Raphael says:

    Why call it “Gay” Couples i never i heard the words “Hetero” couples getting married.
    People who are in love should get married, no matter if their bodies are double!!!

  178. karmanot says:

    Go away troll

  179. karmanot says:

    Oh you poor martyred thing. Stop Bogarting that cross, there’s a long line behind you.

  180. M cam says:

    This isn’t the only hit on religious-freedom that we are facing, with Obama-care, religions which object to abortions are required to finacially provide them for their employees. This would be similar to telling a vegan restaurant that they must provide a meat-option on their menu. Limiting their freedom to determine what is morally reprehensible to them and not partake in it. Religious freedoms are in danger in this country.

  181. Theresa Miller says:

    And the amendment planned for the constitution to ban homosexual marriage is a massive issue that google can lead you to as well. :)

  182. Brian McCarty says:

    These penal codes were taken out of context. The author is an idiot. All the laws are saying is that it is illegal to wed people who have falsified information for their wedding license. Google is a powerful tool to seek information, do not just take up arms because some tabloid journalist is trying to get his 15 minutes of fame.

  183. Theresa Miller says:

    This s a violation on many levels. What in the actual fuck Indiana. I’ve lived here my whole damn life (minus a year here or there) and I do NOT support this at all. I WILL be speaking out and you can count on that. I might be one small voice, but I am a voice that will carry.

  184. jomomma says:

    nice to know our state taxes are going toward this stupid shit marrying people isn’t a problem until the sexist, racist and discriminative government makes it a problem.

  185. Theresa Miller says:

    I have to disagree. Represent ALL hoosiers? I plan on telling these people to kiss my Hoosier ass…I do not want to see mom and pops suffer and people become homeless because of ignorant jerkwads. People also voted the other way in the election. I don’t see the entire Indiana commerce having to suffer for this. Companies who agree with it? Absolutely.

  186. johndoe says:

    #1 learn your states moron #2 i find this article as ridiculous as you.

  187. onlytheaustistswillrespondtome says:

    seems like india got its shit together

  188. Chris Miller says:

    I have to agree with MountainBoomer. Tough luck. They’re the representatives that your state voted in. They, therefore, represent all Hoosiers. I suggest strongly that you make a lot of efforts to get people to turn out to vote against them.

  189. Bruce Amsbary says:

    Hmmmm, this seems to me to be in violation of the US Constitution. Isn’t there something about the separation of church & state in there somewhere?

  190. Mixxmaster Shawn says:

    Yes, shortening voting time, requiring a driver’s license, ending early voting, etc.

  191. JLSR says:

    Wow–really, Indiana?

  192. Sterling Ericsson says:

    If the religious groups were truly for freedom of religion, then they would be right along with us protesting this law.

    I can’t seem to hear them. Can you?

  193. Lou Alexander says:

    This piece is a little off kilter. The net effect is that same as way is reported here by the facts are a bit different. Details:

  194. Ashly Nichole Peterson says:

    Cause there aren’t more serious problems in the world that we need to devote all our effort to fucking up someone’s life helping another achieve their goals of love and marriage? Makes sense. Republicans, please keep digging that hole deeper. It’s making 2014 Democratic campaigns easier and cheaper!

  195. teknojo says:

    I think the author is implying that if they are willing to go toe to toe with the mainstream religions there is a serious problem. This is because it is reasonable, not right but reasonable, to imagine that they could enact legislation that focused on none mainstreams because they have a smaller societal representation. There might not be as big a back lash.
    That the law makers feel they can go against mainstreamers means they have afforded themselves a sense of security and righteousness which is scary.

  196. Garry Leonberger says:

    What the fuck? Okay, now this is completely wrong. In the same way that it would be wrong for the government to FORCE anyone to “solemnize” a same-sex union (i.e. force a church to perform a same-sex marriage) it is ALSO wrong to PROHIBIT these people from performing a church ceremony that the government should have NO LEGAL RIGHT TO INTERFERE IN!!! This is bullshit, and FUCK the Indiana legislature and governor for passing this shit. I’m ashamed of them.

  197. Tancoll says:

    Nothing wrong about being a socialist.
    To be honest it’s really good!

    Free healthcare, free education, no need to take 3 jobs just to survive.

    Kinda like it.

  198. MountainBoomer says:

    Tough. Elections have consequences. Electing imbeciles can have especially bad consequences. All the Hoosiers have to do is tell their elected officials to stop being assholes.

  199. MountainBoomer says:

    Far-Leftists hijacked the Democratic party in the 90’s? Really?
    I don’t know how I managed to miss that one.

  200. Opaque says:

    White ‘entrenchment’? Since when does the color of someones skin, or hell, any perceived privilege from it, ever have to do with religious privilege?

  201. ShinjisSecret says:

    Are the police really going to come to a church or parsonage and arrest a man or woman of the cloth for performing a ssm? So much for religious freedom. These repukes only care about their own deluded, bigoted, hateful beliefs.

  202. FatherLark Justin Muncy says:

    As an Old Catholic Priest, I would happily perform and solemnize a wedding for persons of the same or different genders.

  203. Valerie says:

    Why stress “mainstream” religions so much? I understand the first point that many mainstream religions perform and/or condone gay marriage. But later on, the author seems to imply that attacking mainstream religions is worse than attacking non-mainstream religions. ALL religion is protected in our constitution, not just the big names.

  204. James1754 says:

    Voting rights restrictions?

  205. Darrell Hobbs says:

    So you want to punish all Hoosiers for the actions of our government. I live in Lafayette and the livelihood of my family and I, as well as (I assure you) many, many others who highly disagree with our government depend on interstate commerce.

  206. Guest says:

    that’s your interpretation, but the link you provided does not define solemnize. Google will find the words for you, but you still need to do the thinking on your own.

  207. Fred says:

    That is just a sweeping stupid statement. This is no different than when the far left hijacked the Democratic party in the 90’s and it looked more like a socialist party than anything – the Republicans have been hijacked by the far right…hopefully that will end as it did for the dems.

  208. Josh Medeiros says:

    unconstitutional on its face

  209. Fred says:

    And folks this is why the Republican Party is dying – they are more interested in religious BS than polotics. I am no Democrat but I sure as hell ain’t a Republican any more either. If your gonna ban it than at least do it right…

  210. readingyou says:

    As if I needed reminding that the GOP is made up of the most narrow-minded and dumbest people this country has to offer…

  211. Ehhhhhh. Maybe it’s too much to get angry over an existing unenforced law, but I think it should be repealed immediately.

  212. Former Hoosier says:

    They do, they pass a lot of abortion restrictions, voting rights restrictions, healthcare restrictions, etc. They have all this time for these issues, and do nothing to actually improve the economy in Indiana.

  213. JohnThorpe says:

    Anyone can get ordained by the Universal Life Church. I think I did it online back when AOL was king.

    I half tempted to whip that license out, perform a ceremony, and then sue the bastards.

  214. Xerxes says:

    He’s not “excusing” republicans for being anti-black etc. He’s saying that it’s unexceptional – it’s their expected behavior. He’s saying “We’re used to the republicans being racist, misogynist bastards, but it *is* surprising to see them turn on their own preachers.”

  215. Mike says:

    Being from Lafayette (Tippecanoe County), I take exception to that. Lafayette is pretty much blue, as I believe, is most of Tippecanoe County. Plus, not to nit-pick, but Indianapolis isn’t a county, it is contained within Marion county.

  216. James1754 says:

    I would think they could find something else to do in the legislature.

  217. James1754 says:

    That would be Tennessee. And I would not call anyone a member of the KKK unless it is true. That is a very disgusting thing to say.

  218. sharla says:

    your white entrenchment is showing. only ‘mainstream’ american religions should be protected? and hey, mainstream american religion has been persecuting ‘clergy’ of other faiths for quite some time. what is up with excusing republicans for being anti black, anti women, anti etc? is this ‘oh, it’s just the way they are, those silly old republicans, hahah’, because it kind of sounds that way. you are getting there, but keep on coming because you’re not there yet.

  219. Guest says:

    I should have said, you can preside over any non-legal ceremony as solemnization is likely a legal term.

  220. Jerame says:

    I believe solemnization is defined elsewhere in Indiana Code – likely in the section that defines who can solemnize a marriage.

    Regardless, presiding over a non-legally binding ceremony remains perfectly legal. You can have a commitment ceremony or anything short of a marriage and be fine. You CANNOT solemnize a marriage of a same-sex couple who obtained their license legally in another state. That would be an infraction of the law.

    In other words, any couple with a legally obtained marriage license from any state where same-sex marriage is legal cannot have their ceremony take place in Indiana. Any person who solemnizes that marriage within the borders of Indiana would be committing a class B misdemeanor.

  221. fkh says:

    As a gay Indianan, I am well aware that the legislature here is horrendous.

    Having said that, I believe your article misrepresents what is actually going into effect in 2014. The section of the law you cite was not amended by the legislature. It is — as your own citation notes — from 1997. And I believe that misrepresentations of this type only harm the effort for marriage equality.

    Of far greater concern is the pending constitutional amendment defining marriage as exclusively heterosexual.

    I’d prefer we fight the real fights, rather than using exaggeration, misrepresentation or falsification to get folks riled up (I’d prefer we leave those tactics to the Tea Party).

  222. mark_in_toronto says:

    Indiana (my home state, sorry to say) is basically a northern suburb of Kentucky/Tennessee. While Indianapolis is a “blue” county, the rest of the state belongs in the deep south.
    Hail Indiana! . . . birthplace of the KKK.

  223. Melissa McCann says:

    Huh. I read your link then went back and reread this article several times. If I’m understanding correctly, the writer is concerned because “solemnizing” is not defined within the text of the law. Since the definition of “solemnize” is to duly acknowledge or perform with ceremony, a marriage ceremony involving a same sex couple would fall under that category and in theory if a wedding license and marriage certificate are not provided, then the clergy would be in violation of the law. And in the current religious and legal climate, gay people might well be concerned about prosecution.

  224. Chan :) says:

    Throw me in jail more girls in there anyway beezy!!! Plus its like a lesbian party in there if they do that law lol joke on you discrimating f****

  225. Rev. Carla Golden says:

    My husband and I are both ministers at the Unity Church in Indianapolis. We have done commitment services for gays and this greatly disturbs us. Although we do know that it is not possible (yet) for gays to be legally married in Indiana, it is appalling that the State would even take away their right to have a ceremony of commitment to one another. This is, I believe, against their Constitutional rights of freedom of religion. Doesn’t the State of Indiana have more pressing issues to deal with than worry about gays getting married?

  226. ronwild says:

    This is why politicians and religious people should stay out of the lives of individuals, unless invited in. No one has the right to tell two consenting adults, how to live their lives. When piticians and clergy start acting with absolute decorum, stop screwing interns and choir boys, then maybe I will at least give them the courtesy of listening to their facile arguments against same sex marriage.

  227. Jerame says:

    IC 31-11-11-8 has to do with turning in your paperwork late after solemnizing a a marriage and is totally irrelevant to the discussion.

  228. Jerame says:

    Actually, it does in an update. Right here:

    There was also a question about IC 31-11-11-7, which reads:

    A person who knowingly solemnizes a marriage of individuals who are prohibited from marrying by IC 31-11-1 commits a Class B misdemeanor.

    This, too, was part of the original 1997 law. It was not updated at all during the 2013 legislative session. This law criminalizes the solemnization of any illegal marriage. Same-sex marriage is only one category of illegal marriage under IC 31-11-1. Bigamy, marrying a close family member, underage marriage, etc. are all covered by this part of the Indiana Code. This does not apply to commitment ceremonies – only attempts to legally solemnize an illegal marriage.

  229. lynchie says:

    Is that like a meat sandwich

  230. Gaidig Traon says:

    Actually, the post you linked to does not address the clergy’s legal standing at all.

  231. Jennifer Partlow says:

    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,
    or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of
    speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to
    assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  232. Ross says:

    I am an Ordained minister and more than willing to conduct a gay marriage. is the best way to contact me

  233. roger2266 says:

    Obviously a pandemic of stupid has exploded in Indiana.

  234. Larry Dillon says:

    We are pumpkin haven’ t you been pay attention. The nut jobs are losing and losing badly. Cleaned up at the Supreme Court, thats starting a domino effect. Arkansas is being contested as well as North Carolina and Pennsylvania.All fall down.

  235. Fireblazes says:

    I am a Minister in the Church of the Dude, fly me to Indiana and I will “solemnize” your marriage.

  236. illuminatedwax says:

    while im not quite sure how my comment on the raw facts can be interpreted as anti-freedom, i assure you that i think this statue is as unconstitutional as restricting interracial or inter-religious marriages. im just posting my interpretation of the law, which is mostly in agreement with the article. calm down man.

  237. Larry Dillon says:

    Pumpkin you’ve lost this war. This is nothing more than a death rattle as your desperation grows. You have reason to rage because its all over but the shoutin. I know it and you know it. I understand though,its tough being a pitiful losing homophobic breeder bitch . What’s a breeder bitch to do? Desperate things I guess

  238. bayhuntr says:

    Thanks you for a well thought out review. There is plenty of real issues he could bring light to, crating straw man doesn’t help.

  239. oldman66 says:

    Sounds more like something that the Texas Republicans would do.

  240. devisan says:

    Um, it’s “it’s” and it certainly doesn’t mean more than that to these lawmakers, which I believe was the point.

  241. PlacidAir says:

    Here’s a page of things made in Indiana — I suggest letting their makers know that until this is overturned, their products can sit on the shelf.

  242. bayhuntr says:

    You can always quote more to prove your point and are not just trolling…

  243. name says:

    “Solemnize” in Indiana refers to filling out the forms – not the ceremony. I found out by googling “solemnize marriage Indiana.” c.f. Indiana Code 31-11-4-16

  244. bayhuntr says:

    Your statement is illogical or silly. If the law said Sunday Church services are against the law, you could still make your statement. ” …I see nothing that forces any religion to do anything except to follow the law”

  245. paul says:

    I thought repugnicants were all about less government. Having the state intrude in people’s personal lives demonstrates the hypocrisy of these tea-scum-bagging anti-American CONservatives. Fortunately the courts will throw this out, but in the meantime you’ve waisted tax payer dollars and focused your attention on a non-issue instead of fixing the economy, which you also broke.

  246. Denguyfl says:

    It still makes it illegal which be definition is a crime (hence criminal code). Unconstitutional then, unconstitutional now.

  247. Rev. Suzanne says:

    Um, its separation. And it means a whole lot more than that.

  248. bayhuntr says:

    Yes, but only if it can sign a marriage license.

  249. bayhuntr says:

    Jobs, jobs, jobs! And efficient government!

  250. L Mark Finch says:

    I certainly didn’t say or imply that the legislature should be “lauded for this grand accomplishment.” All I did was state a fact.

    However, it does appear that IC 31-11-11-5 (which says it’s a Class C infraction to solemnize a same-sex wedding) and IC 31-11-11-5 (which says it’s a Class B misdemeanor) contradict each other. I doubt that any cases have ever been prosecuted under this law, and if it ever is challenged on the basis of its constitutionality, it will surely be struck down.

  251. Dee Anderson says:

    you are right Naja-

  252. bayhuntr says:

    I know lots of conservatives that are not ignorant, so I won’t demean them by stereotyping you as a conservative. “…marriage of individuals who are prohibited from marrying by IC 31-11-1” Are gays allowed to marry under IC 31-11-1? No. Are you paid to be a right wing troll or do you volunteer your time?

  253. Torin says:

    Way to go Republicans! You don’t know it yet, but you have just created the situation in which there is an argument to no longer make Hoosier Clergy an officer of the State when they officiate a marriage. I can’t wait to see what happens when this goes to court. The Religious Right has tried to stop Marriage Equality, but in fact might make Hoosiers seeking to marry have to seek a state marriage before a officer of the court before going to their Clergy. Right On! Clergy should not be officers of the STATE!

  254. fundy54 says:

    The republican party is full of haters; everyone sees that now and we shouldn’t vote for them anymore. Their un-American and Nazi-like.

  255. lololalallll says:

    That whole seperation of church and state doesn’t really mean anything except for not paying taxes.

  256. Naja pallida says:

    And seeing that there should be no such penalty at all, much less a law specifying how churches should conduct their rites, they should be lauded for this grand accomplishment?

  257. JustAnOldLady says:

    Amen to that.

  258. Zorba says:

    Marcus, do you even recognize snark and sarcasm when you see it? Maybe I should have added a snark tag. Who is the stupid one? I’ve read your other comments, and very frankly, you’re not too bright, are you?

  259. Marcus54 says:

    Exactly, but the blogger doesnt get any coverage or make any news at all if he reports the truth, does he?

  260. L Mark Finch says:

    As a card-carrying minister of the Universal Life Church, I have performed several weddings in Indiana (and I, myself, have been married in Indiana).

    After the ceremony is completed, the officiant and the couple all sign the marriage license, which is then mailed or hand-delivered to the clerk’s office in the county in which the ceremony was performed.

    In order for a marriage license to be issued, the applicants must appear in person and provide identification. A license cannot be issued if the applicants are of the same sex. So even if an officiant did “solemnize” a marriage of a same-sex couple, it would have no legal effect. Those interested can read more about Indiana’s marriage laws at .

    Contrary to what the story says, the change in the law that goes into effect in 2014 will decriminalize solemnizing a same-sex union, as the offense will go from being a Class B misdemeanor to a Class C infraction (the legal equivalent of a traffic ticket). You can see this for yourself by clicking on the link contained in the third paragraph of the story and scrolling down to IC 31-11-11-5.

    So the real story here is that the Republican-controlled Indiana legislature didn’t make it a crime to perform gay weddings (as the headline blares), but actually reduced the penalty for doing so.

  261. Zorba says:

    Yep. Of course it’s unconstitutional.
    And expecting Bush the Shrub to know the difference between paper and parchment, well…….we always knew he was an idiot. ;-)

  262. Marcus54 says:

    because the blogger is lying, the legislation says nothing that he is stating, he is assuming certain parts can be read like he sees it and can be nefarious.

    thats where the conservatives are.

    quote exactly what part of the legislation bothers you

  263. Marcus54 says:

    then your stupid if you think its just a piece of paper, without that paper, you would be living in a dictatorship like cuba

  264. Marcus54 says:

    have you actually read the legislation? tell me exactly what part bothers you because I see nothing that forces any religion to do anything except to follow the law

  265. Marcus54 says:

    makes no sense at all

  266. Marcus54 says:

    Show me what part of the legislation actually forbids any religion to do anything? if something is currently unlawful, and you disagree with the law, change the law, simple as that

  267. Marcus54 says:

    Actually, after reading the legislation, I find nothing in it that indicates forcing religions of any kind to do anything, it also mentions nothing about gay marriage

    so it appears the blogger is just lying about the legislation by reading into it something that isnt there.

    Just another example of a liberal blogger trying to get attention by making up something sinister

  268. Bone Wilder says:

    Yeah goulo, I understood. Amazing the people responding had NO IDEA what you were referring to. Even if you get your news from Faux or CNN you would know this!!!

  269. Jerry Rankin says:

    In the Episcopal Church there is Holy Matrimony (regulated by the state by way of statutes and the issuing of licenses) then there is the blessing of a civil ceremony – a marriage ceremony conducted by a justice, judge, or justice of the peace. Those so wed in this way may then come to the church to have their marriage blessed. Kansas does not permit same sex marriage, but I would have no problem blessing a civil ceremony performed in a state that does permit same sex marriage. Then there is the blessing of a same sex union/relationship quite apart from the civil act of marriage.

  270. Adam says:

    It’s not illegal for a priest to conduct a religious ceremony in France. It’s just not legally recognized as a marriage. There’s an important difference there. If it were illegal, the priest would be arrested for performing a marriage.

  271. cambridgemac says:

    You never thought you’d see the day the Repukes would throw clergy in jail? I think the day they started howling about Xians being oppressed and not having religious “freedom” was the day they signaled their intentions. Remember, Republicans ALWAYS project. What they say others are doing is exactly what they plan to do, e.g. steal votes, wage a nuclear first strike, feel entitled to endless amounts of taxpayer dough, and now, end freedom of religion.

  272. Tassinong says:

    This is the same group of lawmakers that once tried to legislate the value of pi as exactly 3. (See the paper by Valparaiso University professor Arthur Hallerberg.)

  273. karmanot says:

    Sorry down arrow Reverend —didn’t mean to imply that you would actually walk the talk and do cross time. There is a long line you know.

  274. illuminatedwax says:

    It looks like solemnization is something that is a second step that must be taken along with a marriage license:

    IC 31-11-4-14
    Marriage license as authorization of solemnization of marriage

    Sec. 14. A marriage license that is issued under this chapter is the legal authority for an individual who is authorized to solemnize marriages to marry two (2) individuals.

    This means that clergy and the like could be charged with a misdemeanor if it is decided they were attempting to solemnize a marriage license, that the solemnization was intended to attempt to apply to an illegal marriage license, or they solemnized the marriage of an illegal marriage who had somehow obtained a marriage license from the state despite being illegal.

    So basically if someone thinks you’re trying to go around the system, you can probably be charged. Otherwise, a same-sex couple getting married in a church in Indiana means little more than kids marrying each other on the playground.

  275. karmanot says:

    That was stunning news. It makes Justice Roberts power broker for life.

  276. BeccaM says:

    Well, don’t forget: Women were considered property in those days. Slept with, not slept with, willing or unwilling, it made no difference. The whole point was all those women were Solomon’s to do with whatever he liked, whenever he wanted. Hence a male status thing.

  277. Naja pallida says:

    Not necessarily, but it’s definitely a threesome.

  278. Chris German says:

    I have been saying that for YEARS! The Church should be tax, if they own anything besides a Church of worship. What I mean, if they own a car – pay tax, if they own a house – pay tax, if they own a building that is not for worship – pay tax. When Churches don’t pay tax, it really hurts the local small business (SB). Towns/Cities then jack up tax on SB to make up even on local people. If VA would have tax churches, we wouldn’t have to raise Sales tax, motor vehicle sales, etc.

  279. Naja pallida says:

    How does one even have 700 wives? That’s a lot of wedding ceremonies, you’d think he’d be spending so much time getting married and having sex that he’d never get anything else done… and 300 concubines? I mean, even if you got around like a rabbit on a bender of crystal meth and Viagra, you’d still never manage to get to them all in a calendar year. :)

  280. Naja pallida says:

    It’s going to happen eventually, it’s inevitable, and dare I say, necessary. A state like Alabama or Mississippi is never going to permit, or even recognize marriage equality, unless they are forced to by a higher power.

  281. Adam says:

    Yes, please, bigots, THROW us in that briar patch. You know, the one labeled Supreme Court Of The United States. Go on now.

  282. L Mark Finch says:

    BZZT! Wrong. It was Klan Grand Dragon D. C. Stephenson who was convicted of the abduction, rape and subsequent death of Madge Oberholtzer. He did have a close relationship with Gov. Edward L. Jackson, who was also a Klan member.

  283. Adam says:

    Let me see if I can say this in small enough words to penetrate the walnut that is passing for your brain.


    Your vote for a Republican enabled this bill to pass. Try apologizing to your gay friends about that and see how far it flies (like a lead balloon, most likely). The point, my dear: STOP VOTING FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY.

  284. Naja pallida says:

    They should be pretty much diametrically opposed to one another, but words have no actual fixed definitions for Republicans. They can twist them to be whatever they want, whenever they want. Like what just came out the other day, that the secret Republican-stacked FISA court, unaccountable to anyone, has determined the word “relevant” has the legal meaning of “everything and anything”.

  285. Adam says:

    GOPTeahadistswill probably welcome this as it forces other churches to be Just Like Theirs (i.e. homophobic). They won’t see that it could just as easily force their churches to be just like the liberal churches.

  286. Adam says:

    And he was wrong there, too. It’s a goddamned piece of PARCHMENT.

    Regardless, this will not stand. The first challenge it receives in court will topple it. It’s unconstitutional.

  287. bragibrunose says:

    This is freaking ridiculous. I’m ashamed of Indiana.

  288. BeccaM says:

    My marriage was blessed and announced, with note taken that although the state refused to legally recognize our marriage, it nevertheless existed as such because we’d sworn those vows to one another. It was done in much the same way slaves in America weren’t considered legally married, but they married anyway — and which gay and lesbian couples have been doing for decades now.

    My ‘relationship’ with my wife wasn’t what was blessed. It was the vows we swore to one another. I should think that as a clergyman yourself, you’d recognize that sometimes there’s a higher law than those enacted by fallible, narrow-minded men.

    True, some religious organizations won’t bless same-sex marriages without calling them something else. But increasingly, there are plenty that do — and they do call them marriages, regardless of legal recognition.

  289. Sweetie says:

    Libertarians and Republicans are hardly similar.

  290. BeccaM says:

    That’s occurred to me, too. It actually helped the DOMA case for all those Congressweasels to have gone on the record as saying they supported the ban because they felt it was morally wrong to be a gay person. A firm establishment of documented anti-gay animus based on religious beliefs and personal bigotry, and not on facts.

    None of their so-called ‘rational’ arguments hold water either. If marriage is for breeders, then it should be illegal for infertile couples to wed. Then there’s the overt (and utterly unsubstantiated) assertion that “natural” biological children are superior to adopted ones or those born via IVF. And of course, my current favorite: The position that marriage need to be kept hetero solely for the kids — which by necessity creates institutionalized discrimination against the kids of gay and lesbian parents. Abstract theoretical harm used to justify actual, demonstrably concrete harm to families that exist regardless of legal recognition.

    I still laugh out loud when the homophobes are so tree stump stupid as to suggest that marriage has existed in its current form — hetero only, monogamous only, with divorce essentially on-demand, and freely chosen by both the man and woman — for all of human history, in all cultures and religions. Remember a few weeks ago when Louie Gohmert (R-Dumbfuckistan) complained about DOMA being overturned by quoting Solomon from the Bible — a king with 700 wives and 300 concubines?

  291. Stev84 says:

    Same in many other countries inspired by the Napoleonic Code and civil law traditions. That is much of continental Europe and South America.

    And yeah, the system America uses is absurd. States also have to license people to perform legal marriage ceremonies. Indiana for example forbids humanist celebrants to do that. You either need a justice of peace or some kind of clergy. This would also be so much easier and less confusing for people if you had to get married at city hall first. Then nobody else would have to be licensed or authorized.

  292. nominalize says:

    Really? Wow, Mexico and France… not exactly GOP paradise, there :)

  293. karmanot says:

    I would like the state to start telling the church to pay taxes.

  294. Clergyman says:

    We should get oranges and apples into their own baskets here. While clergy do ‘officiate’ at a wedding they do so on behalf of the state who licences marriages. Therefore the state has the right to restrict anyone acting on behalf of the state from doing anything which is illegal in that state. BUT, the other function of the clergy at a wedding is on behalf of the church. That function is to bless the marriage. Blessings can be given to just about any relationship. So while clergy may not be able to officiate at a wedding they certainly can solemnize at the blessing of a relationship.
    As soon as the state makes same-sex marriage legal, this restriction will be lifted. Until then I hope that clergy are blessing couples. Let the state be the state, however foolish it may be, but let the church be the church.

  295. Veneta says:

    What happened to separation of church and state? When the legislature starts telling the church what it can and cannot do this is wrong.

  296. jomicur says:

    If you don’t understand the difference between saying that the Republican party AT THE INSTITUTIONAL LEVEL does something and saying that all Republicans everywhere do it, you are beyond all help and hope.

  297. karmanot says:

    True, clergy loves a good martyr crucifixion moment.

  298. iamlegion says:

    Just FYI, a friend of mine who lives in Indiana ran this past the local ACLU… it looks like this is just the entirety of 31.11.11 being revised to refer to crimes as level 1, 3, 6, whatever from the older class A/B/C/D style. The laws themselves are legit – and have been on the books since 1997 – they’re just not ones invented wholesale by this year’s legislature. Does anyone know if they’ve ever actually arrested anyone under these things? I’d love to see the judicial review of this garbage…

  299. Bill says:

    SOOOOOO damn glad I don’t live in Indiana…the ARM PIT of the USA!

  300. Naja pallida says:

    The reading which they screwed up by skipping whole sections, and not reading the icky parts they didn’t want to be on camera reading aloud… which really, was a great portend of how they would run the entire Congress.

  301. Naja pallida says:

    Because blog posts are much more likely to be “noticed”, and thus generate page hits, if they have images associated with them. And sadly, stock photography is the cheapest and easiest way to get usable images. I hate them too, but unless they can find some free-use images somewhere (hey, some of us readers are photographers, hint hint!), he has to go with what he can. You can’t just nick pictures from anywhere, without risking copyright issues.

  302. Houndentenor says:

    If the state can prohibit clergy from performing marriage ceremonies, then they can also require them to perform the same ceremonies. After all the hand-writing over “exceptions” for religious institutions they want to do this? I’m shocked at how ignorant social conservatives are to the long-term implications of their agenda and what it will mean in some future time when they are no longer the majority.

  303. Naja pallida says:

    Which actually gives me hope, because the more insanely radical they get, the greater chance of a Loving-style case finally coming before the Supreme Court. One that just flat out obliterates all of the states’ toying around with gay marriage bans, and state constitutional amendments.

  304. karmanot says:

    I would be happy to add you to the list so that you could enjoy more self righteousness.

  305. JC says:

    So, the GOP is now going to declare war on the churches…
    It was not enough to just declare war on the women, gays, non-whites, the middle class and the poor.

  306. karmanot says:

    If a fetus is present, is that considered polygamy?

  307. AnitaMann says:

    Jobs, jobs, jobs! And smaller government!

  308. Zorba says:

    Now, now, GoBlue. Just remember that Bush the Shrub said, of the Constitution, “It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!”

  309. Zorba says:

    If I lived in Indiana, I would be so tempted to become a Wiccan High Priestess and start performing same-sex handfasting ceremonies (the, more-or-less, Wiccan equivalent of marriage).
    Myrddin, you could become a Wiccan High Priest! ;-)

  310. GoBlue says:

    I can’t help recalling the Tea Party’s stunt of beginning the 2012 Congress with a reading of the Constitution aloud. Maybe these Hoosier TPers should try it. Then maybe it’ll sink in that attempting to regulate what churches can and can’t do is blatantly unconstitutional.

  311. Zorba says:

    “When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross.”
    Attributed to Sinclair Lewis. There is no actual proof that he ever said this in these exact words, but it’s still a great quote, and you’re right, fascism has been growing and growing in this country for quite awhile now.

  312. Ryan says:

    I’m not an expert, but I’m pretty sure that there are some basic elements that must be present for the marriage to be legally valid, most notably consent. Whether they are part of the ceremony itself or happen afterwards while filling out the paperwork afterward doesn’t matter.

  313. Ryan says:

    I wouldn’t depend on the dictionary definition. That reflects everyday usage. The state of Indiana and its court system are able to use their own particular definition.

  314. Lea Tapp says:

    Where is all the outrage from conservative Christians who have been saying that gays being allowed to marry will lead to their clergy being forced to preform weddings? (Not that a clergy member in this country has ever been forced to preform a wedding outside of their faith. That’s a fantasy to scare right wing voters. Catholic priests don’t have to marry non-Catholic couples etc.) Where is their fervor for clergy rights now? These fascists do not belong in office.

  315. What? Like it wasn’t hear already!

  316. BeccaM says:

    Let’s not also forget a certain recently awarded Nobel Peace Price where the recipient took his speech time to make his case for justified preemptive war.

  317. cincodenada says:

    Dammit, this story has been all over the internet, and it’s always full of ridiculous half-truths and speculation.

    The bill in question is P.L.158-2013, which was HB 1006:

    And looking at the changes myself, it doesn’t seem like it’s actually changing anything related to gay marriage. All of this was already on the books, it looks like they’re just changing their system from “Class A-D” to “Level 1-6”, so the bill modifies these sections (along with what looks like hundreds of other sections) to change “Class D” in the text to “Level 6”. That’s the only thing it changed about the marriage license statute. In case you’re curious, the statute in question is Title 31, Article 11, Chapter 11 “Offenses”, linked here:

    And in fact, they lowered the pentalties associated with Class D/Level 6 felonies such as the “false information” one. Class D was “between six (6) months and three (3) years, with the advisory sentence being one and one-half (1 1/2) years”, and the new Level 6 penalty is “between six (6) months and two and one-half (2 1/2) years, with the advisory sentence being one (1) year”. Fine is max $10,000 in both cases.

    Additionally, the supposed “addition” of barring people from performing same-sex marriages (IC 31-11-11-7) has been on the books since 1997, and wasn’t even touched at all by this new law (because it’s a misdemeanor, not a felony). So that section is patently false information. Note the “As added by P.L.1-1997, SEC.3” in the damn excerpt you posted: that section wasn’t even modified by this most recent bill. If your wild speculation about the meaning of “solemnization” is even true (which I highly doubt), they could have been doing this for over a decade already. And have we heard about that? No.

    I’m all for defending gay rights and keeping an eye on what states are doing with it, but whipping up a fury over false information helps no one but the opposition. So yeah, this is a non-story, a routine and wide-sweeping administrative change that wasn’t targeting this law in the slightest. NCR, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

  318. Naja pallida says:

    Too bad there are no real libertarians in federal office, and actually very few in general. Just a lot who don’t seem to understand what the term means, and instead use it to push a
    Republican agenda. A Republican party, which is taking away women’s rights in every state it can. Disenfranchising thousands upon thousands of minority voters. Looking for any way they can to punish the whole Hispanic community for the immigration bill, while militarizing our border. Pushing climate and economic policies that are killing us and bleeding us dry. When the sane, non-bigoted Republicans are a teeny-tiny, very quiet, minority that aren’t even running for public office any more because they’re afraid of having to actually justify their sanity? I feel perfectly fine with such generalizations about them as a party. I don’t see any Republicans standing up in the Indiana state legislature arguing that this is blatantly unconstitutional. I don’t see any elected Republicans at all publicly repudiating it. I see bigots playing a legislative game with people’s lives, who think they’ve scored a goal.

  319. BeccaM says:

    I don’t think so. Just look up the definition of the word “solemnize”:

    1. Duly perform (a ceremony, esp. that of marriage).
    2. Mark with a formal ceremony.

    It can and does happen outside of the context of a marriage license, because for decades now, religious ‘solemnization’ is all we gay and lesbian couples have had available to us.

  320. BeccaM says:

    Or for large numbers of its inhabitants to be “sent into the corn.”


  321. Whitewitch says:

    This one looks ripe for a lawsuit for sure. And just wait until the church-going-folks realize that it is telling a church what they can/can’t do inside their temple/church/thingie….wow bet they will be pissed.

    As a side note…glad to hear so many churches do solemnize marriages for anyone. Nice to know.

  322. MyrddinWilt says:

    I was planning to start a cult anyway. The three sacraments are chocolate, hugs and DIY.

  323. Swami_Binkinanda says:

    Keeping in mind that it was Indiana, among all the states, that elected a Ku Klux Klan government in the interwar years, which was only removed after the governor kidnapped, raped and murdered a white woman.

  324. Michael Modes says:

    By the way, I was supporting gay marriage in 1996 as one of those selfish Libertarians, 12 years before Obama banged his bible to get elected in 2008, and 15 years before Hillary decided it was okay.

  325. Monoceros Forth says:

    Changed your tune there a bit quickly, didn’t you? ;)

  326. Michael Modes says:

    Your generalizations about Republicans are ignorant. They all hate blacks and gays and Latinos. Funny, support for gays among blacks and Latinos i not much better, but that would be wrong to point out. I don’t believe all liberals are represented by their worst. Not even you.

  327. Anon says:

    It would be a marriage within the eyes of the Church, therefore it is a marriage, just not a legal or civil marriage.

    Yes, it can still be called a marriage without it being a legal one. There are certain rights (within the church) and responsibilities (within the church) that put this above a mere “commitment ceremony”, which can be performed by anyone but carries no rights or responsibilities anywhere.

    Your “marriage” to Sally wasn’t recognized by Church or State, so that’s a pretty silly comparison.

    (PS: I am an atheist so I’ve got no horse in this race.)

  328. Persia says:

    They just didn’t point out that the jobs would be for lawyers.

  329. Tracy Anderson says:

    Indiana, making it’s own pitch to out do Tennessee and South Carolina!

  330. BeccaM says:

    And they don’t care, because until it’s taken to court and overturned as an obvious violation of religious liberty, it’ll be used to oppress gay people for at least a few years, if not longer.

  331. pliny says:

    Don’t forget the portable hotspot and a couple of tablets so that you can recruit onlookers to get ordained and participate…

  332. DHW says:

    Actually it is the same in the USA. Only persons vested by the state with such authority can sign a marriage license. It’s just that in the US, we’ve made an accommodation that allows credentialed clergy to pretty much be automatically vested with that authority.

    Many have argued that we ought to separate the two completely. Religious institutions could do what they do and would not be beholden to the state. Then couples would do whatever is necessary to have the marriage recognized by law. They are two different things – we have just conflated the two in our laws.

    That said, this revision of law in Indiana is repugnant. It would likely work to the advantage of pro-equality folks to have it struck down as clearly unconstitutional – adding to the equality momentum nation wide.

  333. BeccaM says:

    The GOPers have been passing manifestly unconstitutional forced-birth laws left and right — I’m seeing this as no different, and we can probably expect to see even worse on the anti-gay laws.

  334. The Wifely Person says:

    And this surprised you because………?

  335. AllahJunior says:

    Uhhh, what? They can’t do that. I’ll start my own church and “solemnize” the couples. I’m gonna rack up quite a few misdemeanors.

  336. BeccaM says:

    I’d say the parallels between this kind of ban and Loving v. Virginia are drawing ever closer.

    I guarantee that next up will be a law that makes it a felony for a gay couple to marry in another state and then move back to Red Bigotistan.

    And yes, there is no other rational way to read this new Indiana law than as a blatant infringement of religious liberty and an unconstitutional violation of the 1st Amendment.

  337. Monoceros Forth says:

    I’ve suspected something like this might happen and will continue to happen. Republican state legislators are going to start raining unconstitutional measures down on the citizens of their states, in all probability knowing full well that they won’t stand up to legal challenge–but if your sole aims are to make trouble and score points with bigoted, right-wing voters, then it hardly matters whether any of the new laws survive in court. And, who knows, one might slip through.

    I contend that it is imperative for those fighting such discriminatory legislation to start tarring the religionists with the same language they’ve loved to use on supporters of GLBT rights. In particular, Republican bigots have loved to claim that GLBT citizens are demanding “special rights” when in fact they’re the ones asking for special regard for their religious prejudices and wanting them to be forced on everyone in the country.

  338. inahandbasket2 says:

    Here is one legal definition of “solemnization” I found:

    “Solemnization refers to the performance of a formal marriage ceremony
    before witnesses. In other words, it is the public performance of a
    sacrament or solemn ceremony with all appropriate rituals.

    In Norman v. Norman, 121 Cal. 620 (Cal. 1898), it was observed that
    consent alone will not constitute marriage; it must be followed by a
    solemnization. However, no particular form of solemnization is
    required, but the parties must declare, in the presence of the person
    solemnizing the marriage, that they take each other as husband and wife.

    Similarly, in the solemnization of marriage, no particular form is
    required except that the parties must declare in the presence of the
    judge, minister or magistrate, and the attending witnesses, that they
    take each other as husband and wife. In every case there shall be at
    least two witnesses present besides the person performing the ceremony. [Barnett v. Hudspeth, 211 Cal. App. 2d 310 (Cal. App. 1st Dist. 1962)]”

    The above definition has no reference to the signing of legal documetation, i.e., a Certificate of Marriage. The above definition refers to the ceremony itself, therefore, I believe my interpretation, so far, is more accurate.

  339. inahandbasket2 says:

    Is there an actual legal citation that specifically articulates the definition of “solemnization?” I am not a lawyer. Perhaps you are and can link to the actual citation in Indiana state law that has that citation.

  340. druidbros says:

    Fascism has come to America.

  341. Hey, at least it proves that the anti-gay marriage forces were correct, that if gay marriage passed then the clergy would be subject to arrest…………

    oh, wait a minute.

  342. BleedingLove84 says:


  343. BleedingLove84 says:

    if it’s againest the law for Indiana gay’s to marry should be against the law Indiana straight people to divorce … just saying…

  344. David Lynd says:

    We will overcome ! The beast may thwart Gods will but that’s all. This state of “just me not *YOU* will never be able to “paint a pretty picture” becuz it’s corralled itself(ish) into a deep dark pit of legalizing Mortification, humiliation & torture, they’ve made it legal to teach hate & murder ! (that is not pretty).
    The way to cure STD’s etc… Is a moral practice of Monogomy & sanctified Vows to one partner. for life. (religious instructions along w/ rehab.) has given me 39 1/2 yrs w/ my Life-Partner soon to be wed. !! :)))
    Society has created a monster and shuns admittance !
    Hate is the name of the beast by what all bigots worship.
    The beast named hate is the governor of this state.
    I’m grateful I’m at the intersection of knowledge of the HEART.
    With the freedom of choice of never crossing over the boarders of the areana’s of the beast !
    Hate is a very sick choice !! Some are sicker than others but I doubt I’ll ever meet any in lairs of the beast. WE WILL ! OVERCOME ! …(S N A P !)

  345. Hugh Gitlin says:

    It would take 2 seconds to find it unconstitutional.

  346. Ryan says:

    Yes. The legal and religious aspects of marriage are separate, so I see no reason to interpret a law as conflating them unless either the law itself or the case law specifically conflates them. Under this interpretation, signing a license that you know to be invalid is a crime and failing to file a license you have signed within the required time limits is a crime. Both are reasonable things for the government to prohibit.

  347. Sweetie says:

    “It defines assisted reproduction as causing pregnancy by means other
    than sexual intercourse, including intrauterine insemination, donation
    of an egg, donation of an embryo, in vitro fertilization and transfer of
    an embryo, and sperm injection.

    The bill then requires ‘intended parents’ to be married to each
    other and specifically says an unmarried person may not be an intended

    A doctor can’t begin an assisted reproduction technology procedure
    that may result in a child’s being born until the intended parents of
    the child have received a certificate of satisfactory completion of an
    assessment required under the bill.

    The assessment is very similar to what is required for infant adoption
    and would be conducted by a licensed child placing agency in Indiana.

    Some of the required information includes the fertility history of the
    parents, education and employment information, hobbies, personality
    descriptions, verification of marital status, child care plans, letter
    of reference and criminal history checks.

    A description of the family lifestyle of the intended parents is also
    required, including individual participation in faith-based or church

    — The 2005 bill I mentioned. Indiana seems to have a problem with the Constitution.

  348. Sweetie says:

    Indiana is where special education teacher Diana Medley said gay people have no purpose in life, right?

    I also remember a legislative initiative a few years back in Indiana that would make it illegal for a lesbian to use artificial insemination.

  349. inahandbasket2 says:

    Are you interpreting “solemnization” with signing a certificate?

  350. TheOriginalLiz says:

    Ya gotta hand it to the tail-enders: just when you think they can’t get any more stupid, they go and prove you wrong.

  351. inahandbasket2 says:

    How is this read any other way:

    “A person who knowingly solemnizes a marriage of
    individuals who are prohibited from marrying commits
    a Class B misdemeanor.”


    “Failure to timely file marriage license and duplicate marriage

    Sec. 8. A person who:

    (1) solemnizes a marriage; and

    (2) fails to file the marriage license and a duplicate marriage
    certificate with the clerk of the circuit court not later than ninety
    (90) days after the date the marriage was solemnized;

    commits a Class C infraction.”

  352. Jerry Callender says:

    Hmmm….Marriage licenses are a function of County/City Governments, and it is a Federal LAW that to deny any Government service based, among other things, on gender is a violation of Federal LAW. Having a church ceremony does not, in any way, affect the legality of a marriage license, and for a State Government to legislate what may, or may not, happen inside a church is a violation of the separation of Church and State as outlined in the Constitution.

  353. Butch1 says:

    Or perhaps, a colonic. ;-)

  354. Butch1 says:

    They certainly aren’t in the government and if this is any measure of their constituency then we are getting a vivid picture of the demography of the state by their choices of representation.

  355. iamlegion says:

    Back in 2003, the Boise synagogue – the oldest active one west of the Mississippi – was moved to a new piece of property. The very first wedding ceremony performed at the new site was for a lesbian couple, who happen to be very good friends of mine. The Rabbi who performed it – Dan Fink – is an awesome dude. This law would have sent him to jail. I really don’t have any words for how utterly un-American, un-Christian, and just plain inhuman these politicians are. They are my enemies.

  356. Ryan says:

    I still don’t see it. Your argument seems to rest on the assumption that solemnization, as it pertains to Indiana law, can occur outside the context of a marriage license. If it only refers to the process of transforming an unsigned license into a signed license, then it would only apply to same sex marriages if the couple managed to get a clerk to issue a license and the officiant signed it.

    Marriage ceremonies can occur without signing a license.The most example would be when the couple gets legally married but then decides to get married in the eyes of their religion. The officiant doesn’t need to sign anything because the couple is already married.

  357. Guest says:

    Well actually there is a difference between legality and illegality. in France you can celebrate a religious marriage that is not illegal however because of separation of state and religion, that religious marriage ha no legal value. Only a someone invested by the state can perform a marriage that holds a legal value… this is why people there and in most Europe and their former colonies, people have two ceremonies (or 3 sometimes, the state, the religious and the traditional) . but only the one performed by the state holds a legal value

  358. Butch1 says:

    Why don’t you comment about the subject instead of trying to find something else to nitpick?

  359. Butch1 says:

    This moron has opened a can of worms with this law.

  360. inahandbasket2 says:

    In this case, the new Indiana law REQUIRES the officant to sign the certificate. If the two people getting married are unable to meet the requirements to obtain the certificate, they can’t get one. The officiant violates the law by performing the marriage w/out the license (which leads to having a certificate). No license, not certificate of marriage. Bingo, law broken.

    “A person who knowingly solemnizes a marriage of
    individuals who are prohibited from marrying commits
    a Class B misdemeanor.”


    “Failure to timely file marriage license and duplicate marriage

    Sec. 8. A person who:

    (1) solemnizes a marriage; and

    (2) fails to file the marriage license and a duplicate marriage
    certificate with the clerk of the circuit court not later than ninety
    (90) days after the date the marriage was solemnized;

    commits a Class C infraction.”

  361. Butch1 says:

    Isn’t this interfering with the Church? How long will it take to find this law unconstitutional?

    This state is just itching to have state wide marriage added as a referendum if they have such a thing.

  362. mamazboy says:

    More waste of tax dollars with a bunch of horseshit. Wait till the lawsuit comes and this is thrown out. These babies never quit.

  363. inahandbasket2 says:

    In this case, the state of Indiana IS dictating who can get married, privately, because the law states that the officiant MUST have a marriage license in order to perform the marriage ceremony:

    Solemnization of marriage between persons prohibited from

    Sec. 7. A person who knowingly solemnizes a marriage of
    individuals who are prohibited from marrying by IC 31-11-1 commits
    a Class B misdemeanor.

    Failure to timely file marriage license and duplicate marriage

    Sec. 8. A person who:

    (1) solemnizes a marriage; and

    (2) fails to file the marriage license and a duplicate marriage
    certificate with the clerk of the circuit court not later than ninety
    (90) days after the date the marriage was solemnized;

  364. Jim Olson says:

    No, clergy are not required to sign a marriage certificate. Clergy *may* sign a marriage certificate.

  365. Jim Olson says:

    There are no legally required questions. The states do not dictate the form of the marriage.

  366. inahandbasket2 says:

    We may not be talking about the same issue….

  367. nicho says:

    Well, they’ve been through a “commitment” ceremony that has meaning only within the walls of the church. It is not “marriage” in the common sense of the word. Kind of like when I “married” Sally Mitchell in first grade.

  368. Jim Olson says:

    Truth. I refused to sign certificates for a long time.

  369. Jim Olson says:

    This is most certainly true. I have presided at many ceremonies without benefit of a state-issued certificate. The Roman Catholic church may have rules about that; priests may in fact be only permitted to preside at ceremonies where there is a state-issued marriage certificate, but that is NOT the case for my denomination; in fact, for most.