Gay Couples Attempting To Obtain Marriage Licenses In Indiana May Be Arrested
Yes, that's Indiana in the United States of America, not Indiana in Uganda...
Indiana's homophobic lawmakers have revamped a little-used law as its LGBT community becomes more and more restless for civil rights following last month's SCOTUS rulings. Starting July 1, 2014, any couple accused of "falsifying" a marriage license application will be charged with a felony. Considering the forms only have boxes for the male partner and the female partner, the law is explicitly aimed at same-sex couples.
A 1997 state law declares it a Class D felony to submit false information on a marriage license application or lie about the physical condition, including gender, of a marriage license applicant. Two men or two women seeking to marry inevitably would trigger the law, as the state's electronic marriage license application specifically designates "male applicant" and "female applicant" sections for gathering required background data.
It's not known how often Hoosiers, gay or straight, are prosecuted for submitting false information on a marriage license application. In any case, the recently approved reform of the state's criminal code will, starting July 1, 2014, drop the crime to a Level 6 felony, punishable by a maximum of 18 months in prison and a potential fine of up to $10,000.
The law also penalizes clergyman, judge, mayor, city clerk or town clerk-treasurer who solemnizes a marriage between two people of the same gender. Those who conduct a gay marriage ceremony can be charged with a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.