Legal maneuver could halt same-sex licenses

Bart Peterson, left, and Pete McNamara, center, are married by Marion County Clerk Beth White in Indianapolis on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Same-sex couples continue to get marriage licenses across Indiana.  But an emergency motion to stay by Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller could bring the entire process to a screeching halt.

U.S. District Judge Richard Young shot down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages Wednesday.  Young will either accept or deny Zoeller’s motion to stay, which would put the ruling on hold.

NewsChannel 15 caught up with Steve Shine, Fort Wayne family law attorney, to get his strictly legal perspective on the Zoeller’s legal maneuver.  Shine said if the judge grants the stay, county clerks across the state would have to stop issuing gay marriage licenses.  Same-sex couples who already received marriage licenses will get to keep them.

If Judge Young denies the stay, county clerks will continue issuing gay marriage licenses.

“I think the judge is going to look at what the results of other states and other jurisdictions — federal courts have done,” Shine said.  “Some of them have granted stays, others have not.”

But Shine said all of the same-sex marriage licenses are truly in limbo because the state is appealing the judge’s decision.  They will ultimately be deemed valid or invalid once that appeals process is finished.

“The fate of those marriage licenses would be determined once an appeal process works its way through the Federal Court of Appeals and then ultimately to the Supreme Court,” Shine said.

Experts think it could take about a week before the federal judge decides what to do with Zoeller’s motion to stay.

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