The Honorable Richard Young -- the U.S. district judge in Indiana who struck down that state's ban on same-sex marriage in June -- has done it again.
This afternoon, Judge Young sided with the plaintiffs in Bowling v. Pence, the last remaining same-sex marriage case in Indiana. The plaintiffs sued to force the state to recognize their legal same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
Young ordered the state to stop enforcing all Indiana laws preventing same-sex couples from equal treatment in marriage, allow married same-sex couples to file joint tax returns, and provide the same benefits and services to married same-sex couples as it does to married opposite-sex couples. It is the 20th consecutive pro-marriage equality decision by a federal court in the post-Windsor era.
Young also reinstated Mike Pence, the state's Republican governor, as a defendant in the case after previously removing him. Judge Young notes that he initially took Pence off the case because of the governor's repeated claims that he lacks the authority to control the enforcement of Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage recognition, and because no law existed explicitly granting the governor such authority.
However, Judge Young writes, actions taken by Pence after the initial ruling reveal that the governor's position was a "bold misrepresentation": "Since that time, the Governor issued memoranda, through his attorney, and did what he claimed he could not do by directing executive agencies on how to proceed in enforcing the law."
These actions, Young says, prove that Pence is indeed a proper party to the case.
Judge Young stayed today's order until the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals rules in the case, or in any of the other Indiana marriage equality cases.
A copy of the order is after the break.