Status Of State's Hundreds Of Same-Sex Marriages In Doubt

Jun 30, 2014

Federal benefits will be easier to access than state ones until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on gay marriage.
Credit Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

The status of marriages between same sex couples in Indiana is still up in the air after a federal appeals court Friday stopped same-sex marriages until the state’s appeal can be heard. 

Last Wednesday, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young ruled Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.  Within hours, same-sex couples across the state were getting legally married. 

Two days later, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay of the decision until the appeals process is finished.  That’s left same-sex couples who got married in between those two rulings unsure of the legal standing of their unions. 

Indiana University law professor David Orentlicher says there is certainty when it comes to federal recognition.

“Whether it’s tax returns for next year or it’s pension benefits – anything that’s regulated by federal law, the Obama administration has said they will be treated as legally married,” Orentlicher says.

But the Indiana Attorney General’s office says recognition of those marriages by the state is still undetermined -- and that a court may have to sort out the issue.