Same-Sex Couples Applying for Marriage Licenses in Indiana Could be Jailed

Picture via Passport

Picture via Passport

Same-sex couples applying for marriage licenses in Indiana, where gay marriage is illegal, could face Class D felony charges just for submitting their application to the clerk, even if it is denied. A 1997 state law declares that it is illegal to falsify any information on a marriage license application, including physical conditions such as gender. It’s possible for a same-sex couple to trigger the law since there is a designated place on the electronic marriage license for the “male applicant” and another for the “female applicant.”

Keep reading after the jump…

Any clergyman, judge, mayor, city clerk, or town clerk-treasurer who performs a same-sex marriage ceremony or solemnize a same-sex marriage in any way, could face a Class B misdemeanor which is punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1000.  It is not presently known if any gay or straight hoosiers have faced charges for submitting false information on their marriage license application. NWI Politics notes that since the offense is not a felony, a conviction would not automatically remove a clerk from office if they choose to ignore the law and issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple.

Lawmakers proposal to add a same-sex marriage ban to the state constitution, including any kind of civil union, was delayed until the January-March 2014 legislative session. Recent polls show that a majority of Indiana residents oppose the constitutional amendment which would ban same-sex marriages and civil unions. [TR]

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