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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - Executive branch gets commendably clear direction from Gov. Pence on complying with the same-sex marriage order

Mark G. Ahearn, General Counsel to Governor Mike Pence, today sent a memo to all executive branch agencies. The subject: "Recognition of Same Sex Marriage Pursuant to Court Order." Some quotes:

I offer the text below as both explanation and instruction to all executive branch agencies as the State of Indiana implements yesterday's court order as explained below. Please share with your general counsels. * * *

[After quoting the marriage statutes and parts of the opinion, and noting that the AG is appealing and asking for a stay, the memo continues]

We cannot know whether the ruling and orders will be stayed or subsequently reversed in whole or part. The State of Indiana will have to address those circumstances if or when they arise.

So, for purposes of complying with yesterday's ruling:

1. No executive branch agency may deny any state benefit or recognition otherwise available or provided to a married individual because that individual is married to a person of the same sex whether that individual was married in Indiana or another jurisdiction.

2. Starting immediately all executive branch agencies must take whatever actions are necessary and implement any processes required to comply with the court's order; that is, all executive branch agencies must recognize the marriages of individuals who, but for their sex, satisfy all the requirements to marry under Indiana law and otherwise meet all the requirements for the benefits or recognition in question. If at all possible, please try to make your agency changes effective as of the date of the court order, yesterday, June 25.

3. I recognize that every agency operates under different sets of laws, forms, approvals and requirements. You, your general counsels and staff know those better than 1- or frankly anyone outside your agency. So, the direction here is for each agency to look at its own processes and make changes implementing the court order.

4. Please report back to your policy director or if you have no policy director, back to me when you have implemented the changes. If your agency requires no changes to comply with the court's order, or if the court's order does not apply to your agency, let me know that also.

5. Finally, and I know you all know this, please coordinate media communications through your communications director - who will work with this office. This is an important matter (still in litigation) and it is critical that the Administration speak consistently on it.

Thanks all!!

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 26, 2014 07:40 PM
Posted to Indiana Government