Please click here for a correction to this post. Thanks to Andrea for the article!
Want to hear something that is so ridiculously extreme I have to laugh at it?
A same-sex couple applying for a marriage license in Indiana will be guilty of a Level 6 felony, punishable by 18 months in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The new law also makes it a Class B Misdemeanor for a clergyman, judge, mayor, city clerk or town clerk-treasurer to perform a same-sex marriage, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Silly me, I was under the impression that the LAST thing same-sex marriage opponents wanted was the government legislating what kind of marriages could be performed, because then the government would surely FORCE good heterosexual evangelical Christians and Catholics to perform same-sex weddings. Forcing everyone to not perform same-sex weddings, on the other hand, is apparently totally fine. Doesn’t set up a precedent for charging people with misdemeanors for performing or not performing a specific kind of marriage at all. As Sadly, No! says, It’s Always Projection.
I can’t help seeing this as the final, violent death throes of the opposition to same-sex marriage. When you have to start splitting hairs to this point (“Because Indiana marriage license forms have a space for ‘male applicant’ and ‘female applicant’, any same-sex couple filling out the form would automatically violate the law [against furnishing false information on a marriage license]”) then you’re losing. And a year and a half jail sentence for applying for a marriage license? It’s so over-the-top and draconian that it’ll never stand up to legal scrutiny or public opinion.
Don’t get me wrong, this law is terrible, and I feel awful for same-sex couples in Indiana — where same-sex marriage is already illegal under state law, I should point out. This law is kicking a group that’s already been down in Indiana for a while. But I really do think it’s one of the last flailing, foaming-at-the-mouth convulsions of this kind of legislative hatred. It is unquestionably terrible to watch and terrible to be in its range, but it won’t last forever.
A somewhat hopeful closing from that same article:
Although same-sex marriages are currently banned by state law, the Republican controlled General Assembly is considering submitting an amendment to the state constitution for a vote of the people next year. The decision will be made in the January-March 2014 legislative session. It is unclear whether such an amendment would survive a popular vote, as recent polling finds a majority of Indiana residents are now against a constitutional amendment forbidding marriage equality.