Indiana is one of the few states with a law banning gay marriage and no constitutional amendment. The state lawmakers have revamped a 1997 law that makes furnishing false information on a marriage license a class D felony. Because Indiana marriage license forms have a space for “male applicant” and “female applicant”, any same-sex couple filling out the form would automatically violate the law. A person doing so would be guilty of a Level 6 felony, punishable by 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Not content to just target same-sex couples, the newly-revised law takes aim at any clergyman, judge, mayor, city clerk or town clerk-treasurer performing a same-sex ceremony, Their punishment, however, is a Class B Misdemeanor and only punishable up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. The law also extends to any clerks issuing a marriage license to a same-sex couple. It’s also a Class B Misdemeanor.
While other states are reevaluating their laws concerning marriage equality in the light of the Supreme Court decision that struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, Indiana lawmakers are considering doubling down on their anti-equality posture.
Two years ago, the state legislature voted for a constitutional ban, and lawmakers must pass the measure again for it to reach Indiana voters as a ballot measure. Advocates of traditional marriage say that now that the Supreme Court has ruled, and reaffirmed the right of states to define marriage, they are going full steam ahead to get the measure on the November 2014 ballot. For more info, click here.