FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WOWO): Attorney General Greg Zoeller issues guidance for county clerks on the same-sex marriage licenses issued last week before a federal appeals court put those marriages on hold.
The guidelines are meant to help clerks navigate what some say is confusion about the status of the licenses issued between a federal judge‘s ruling last Wednesday that the state could not bar same-sex couples from getting married and early Friday evening, when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals delayed the rule pending Zoeller‘s appeal. “We and our attorneys are reviewing the attorney general‘s guidelines, and we are using those and the advice of our own attorneys about how to make the best judgment possible on how to proceed,” said Erin Kelley, spokeswoman in the Marion County Clerk‘s office.
Zoeller did not say in the guidelines whether anyone definitely knows the ultimately legality of marriages performed last week or marriage licenses issued to same-sex couples. But he says those who can perform marriage ceremonies should not do so, even if a couple obtained a license while it was legal to do so. “For the purposes of our offices, we will not be conducting any ceremonies for individuals, even if they obtained a license within that window,” Kelley said.
The attorney general suggests that clerks not process final copies of same-sex marriage licenses that might be returned to their offices since the stay was issued, even if the licenses were given out during the legal period. Kelley says the Marion County office will not follow that guidance. “Our (county) attorneys have advised us that licenses issued during the window and that were executed – there was a ceremony that took place – we can accept those to record,” said Kelley.