Tuesday, July 9, 2013

How Indiana Made Weddings/Marriage Licenses Punishable Acts

DISCLAIMER: This story has been updated and it appears that the law is not what it seems. You can read the update HERE, but I will be leaving this post up.

From The New Civil Rights Movement

Indiana lawmakers have revamped a 1997 law that makes furnishing false information on a marriage license a class D felony. Beginning July 1, 2014, a same-sex couple applying for a marriage license in the state of Indiana will be guilty of a Level 6 felony, punishable by 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine. The new law also makes it a Class B Misdemeanor for a clergyman, judge, mayor, city clerk or town clerk-treasurer to perform a same-sex marriage, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.  Any clerk who issues a license to a same-sex couple would also be guilty of a Class B Misdemeanor. 
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. The harsh penalties Indiana lawmakers have approved make it difficult for protest movements like the Campaign for Southern Equality’s “We Do” Campaign, which encourages same-sex couples to apply for marriage licenses as a protest in states that prohibit same-sex marriages...
I would like to point out that making it a misdemeanor for clergy members to perform a same-sex wedding of their own free will is a violation of the freedom of religion guaranteed by the first amendment to the United States Constitution. Pretty hypocritical as social conservatives use that same freedom of religion as an excuse  to oppress members of the LGBT community on issues even beyond marriage equality. It really goes to show how they are only for their own freedom, even, and especially, at the expense of the freedoms of others.

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