FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After a federal judge struck down Indiana’s ban on gay marriage, supporters came out to show their encouragement of gay couples getting their marriage licenses at the Allen County Courthouse.
Thad Gerardot, Democratic candidate for state representative, was among those supporters. Gerardot made his stance clear on this issue saying inclusion and diversity are important to Indiana. He’s worked with the LGBT community for years. He’s worked with groups such as Freedom Indiana, which successfully kept a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage off the ballot this fall.
“This is a huge day. People have been waiting their whole lives for this day,” he said. “I know a lot of families that have been waiting to recognize here in Indiana and I’m really excited for them.”
The debate over gay marriage has been going on for over 30 years. The first modern day law that actually banned gay marriage in Indiana was first approved back in 1986. Within the last few years, there’s been a push for a constitutional ban.
The most recent move was shot down after lawmakers changed the language in the law, setting back the time clock to start the process over.
The process will not start overdue the federal judge’s ruling striking down the ban.
Republican councilman John Crawford said he supports the judge’s decision. He said Wednesday’s decision proves there was no need for a push for a constitution ban.
“Didn’t seem like it was going to serve a lot of purpose because later on it was going to be overturned anyway,” Crawford said.
He said this ruling will now open the door for new businesses and fresh, young talent to come to Indiana.
He’s also optimistic about public opinion changing over time.
Indiana joins 19 other states and Washington D.C. that recognize same sex marriage.