Same-sex marriage supporters celebrate judge's ruling

Supporters of same-sex marriage celebrated a judge's ruling Wednesday that declared Indiana's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

Just a few months ago, some state legislators were trying to get the ban written into Indiana's Constitution. So, many didn't anticipate same-sex marriages to be recognized by Indiana any time soon.

"We know there's an injunction that's been filed, we know there's a fight ahead, but it feels like a giant step forward for Indiana," said Willow Weatherall, a South Bend LGBTQ activist.

A large group gathered for an impromptu victory party at Woochi in South Bend Wednesday night, singing and dancing in celebration.

"It's not too long ago that African Americans were denied certain rights, or Latinos, or Asian Americans," said Angela Blake. "So, now it's just full circle. It's about time."

Supporters also raised a glass to the good news at New Paradigm Brewing in Elkhart.

The bar is offering a special deal in light of the ruling. Co-owner Brandon Stanley is ordained and will marry any couple, regardless of their sexual orientation, for free.

"I'm just excited to see everybody get the chance to express their love in the same manner I was able to do many, many years ago now," he said.

Stanley is offering the ceremonies through close of business Saturday. Couples just need to bring a valid marriage license.

The ceremony will certainly be simple, but the meaning isn't.

"Even the most simple of a wedding will have the most dramatic significance in their life," Stanley said.

He didn't have any couples take advantage of the offer Wednesday night. Elkhart County only issued two marriage licenses that day because the clerk was waiting for the official OK to do so from the Attorney General's office.


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