Bil Browning

Indiana Clerk Refuses to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Filed By Bil Browning | June 27, 2014 3:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Daviess County, Indiana, marriage equality, marriage license, same-sex marriage, Sherri Healy

daviess-county-clerk-sherri-healy.jpgAfter this week's ruling that brought marriage equality to the Hoosier state, most counties started issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Since the ruling was slightly unclear, several sought the advice of the State Attorney General who quickly cleared up the mess.

"For those county clerks that were named (Hamilton, Allen, Boone, Porter, Lake) in the cases ruled upon today please be aware that you must comply with the court's ruling or be subject to contempt of court. Other county clerks are not under the direct jurisdiction of the court order but as an officer of the court we must encourage everyone to show respect for the judge and the orders that are issued."

Daviess County Clerk Sherri Healy, however, is still claiming ignorance and cites her religion as the reason she's refusing to follow the law and issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Strangely enough, she's never refused someone who's been divorced or eats shrimp.

Clerk Sherri Healy said Thursday morning her office would not issue the licenses and at least two couples of those who attempted to get one were denied a license. Although she did receive word from the state Attorney General's office, Healy said there is a "gray area" between the federal court ruling and not an order from the state to issue them. She also cited her biblical belief in denying the license.

"It's such a gray area," Healy said. "I'm not sure what the implications of what that will be. I just want something more concrete and precise."

Tensions reached a high point Thursday as Shawn Colvin and partner Richie Poehlin tried several times to be the first same-sex couple issued a license in Daviess County. Colvin said he tried several times to enter the courthouse and the last time, he said Daviess County Sheriff's deputies were in the building for security.

"It's ridiculous because in all these counties, it is fine," Colvin said. "Just because Sherri Healy doesn't believe in it, it's not going to happen."

Healy said later she told Colvin "our country was founded on the biblical principle of one man and one woman in marriage, and until I hear otherwise, that is what I will follow."

Adding insult to injury, Healy's brother is a well-known LGBT activist in Indianapolis.

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