On Wednesday, United States District Judge Richard Young struck down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage. Later in the day, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed a notice of appeal and a request for an emergency stay of the order. It is unclear if or when that stay might be granted.
However, with Judge Young’s order, same-sex couples have already started to marry in Indiana. Marion County Clerk Beth White began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples within minutes of Wednesday’s order. The Clerk’s office stayed open late to accommodate the increased demand for marriage licenses, processing approximately 250 and conducting more than 186 same-sex wedding ceremonies, the Indianapolis Star reports.
However, the legal advice to same-sex couples about what to do now is complicated. If Judge Young’s order is later reversed on appeal, same-sex couples who married during this window of legal same-sex marriage in Indiana may find themselves in a state of legal ambiguity that will require additional litigation to clarify. Some states – but not all – that have experienced brief periods of legal same-sex marriage have continued to recognize those same-sex marriages, even if bans on same-sex marriage were subsequently re-imposed.