Changing The Indiana Marriage License

A document that once read male and female is stirring up controversy. Gay marriage legislation caused the Indiana marriage license to change and one Evansville pastor is fighting to get the original document back.

For nearly ten months Indiana has recognized gay marriage. The state legislation led to other formal changes that aren’t sitting well with some community members.

Pastor Hostmeyer of Immanuel Lutheran Church: “Well I did a wedding in December, I did a wedding in January. The dates were six days different the one said Bride and Groom which I have always had for twenty-nine years. And then it, the next one said Applicant 1 and Applicant 2.”

Marriage licenses use to read male and female but the change in recognizing gay marriage facilitated a change in the wording on a marriage license.

Pastor Horstmeyer says, “When you change it and just make it an applicant it sounds like we are vying for a license to drive. That is not how it is for us.  I have a huge problem when they tell me I no longer have a bride and a groom.”

Horstmeyer contacted Indiana State Senator Jim Tomes asking for help to get the original license back.

Tomes: “We now struggle to get a simple marriage license application that we once had, not trying to turn anyone’s boat upside down just trying to make things available for everyone that would like to have an option.”

Neither Tomes nor Horstmeyer want to take away the current document away but rather add the original document back.

Says Wally Paynter, President of the Tri-State Alliance, “I really feel like any change to go back to male and female is a waste of time for the general assembly. I think we are looking forward and hopefully we won’t look backward and create a form that doesn’t really apply to our current situation and national laws.”

Gay marriage has been legally recognized in Indiana since October 2014.

Senator Tomes has not had any luck getting the original license back. He tells 44News if he cannot resolve the issue before the next session he will author a bill and present it to the general assembly in January.

— Lauren Leslie, 44News





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