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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - Daviess County Clerk denies licenses to same-sex couples, citing grey areas and biblical beliefs

Nate Smith of the Washington Indiana Times Herald reported this afternoon:

As same-sex couples throughout the state hurry to local courthouses to get marriage licenses, Daviess County will not issue them.

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.

Colvin, who said he was wearing a microphone for a Terre Haute TV station, said he was denied a license based on a biblical reason.

"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."

County attorney Grant Swartzentruber was not available, Healy said, but she did confer with Daviess Circuit Judge Gregory Smith. According to Healy, Smith agreed with her opinion of waiting.

Another same-sex couple also tried to receive a license in Daviess County Thursday morning. James Pirkle II and his partner were denied the license in Daviess County. Pirkle II, 41, said he was disappointed they were not able to receive a license.

"I think it is the clerk's responsibility to carry out the law which is now lawful," Pirkle II said.

They went to Knox County where they were issued the license.

"They were kind, courteous and professional and it was done," Pirkle II said. * * *

Because both Colvin and Poehlin live in Daviess County and all ties are also here, they can't go to Knox or Martin County for a marriage license. They have to wait. Colvin said he is upset with Healy's decision to block his attempt for a license.

"It's not her place to judge me and being gay is not a choice," Colvin said.

He plans to go back to the courthouse again today. Healy said although she personally was against same-sex marriage, she will issue licenses when she receives the order from the state.

"That is my opinion and personal belief," Healy said. "And, when I get the order, it won't stand in the way."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 26, 2014 07:01 PM
Posted to Indiana Government