U.S.

Federal Courts Toss Out Ind., Utah Gay Marriage Bans

Wednesday's rulings mean 21 states now permit marriage between same-sex couples.

Federal Courts Toss Out Ind., Utah Gay Marriage Bans
Flickr / Matt B.

Gay couples in two more states can now officially tie the knot. Federal judges have thrown out same-sex marriage bans in Utah and Indiana.

The rulings came one day before the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court striking down parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act last summer. (Via CBS

Back in December, a federal judge struck down Utah's ban on gay marriage. Gay couples rushed to the altar for two weeks before the ruling was put on hold pending an appeal. (Via The Salt Lake Tribune

The group that brought the Utah case — the National Center for Lesbian Rights — wrote in a statement obtained by The Rainbow Times: "That recognition marks an indelible milestone in our nation's journey to full inclusion — and one that will undoubtedly influence other courts in the months to come."

​​A similar story in Indiana — a federal judge found Indiana's ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection clause. (Via Flickr / Matt B.

The Indianapolis Star reports even though Indiana's attorney general plans to appeal the decision, gay couples can start obtaining marriage licenses immediately because the judge did not issue a stay.

Both rulings add to a series of recent victories for gay-marriage supporters. (Via Flickr / Basykes

​Since last summer's DOMA decision, federal judges in several states have struck down state bans on gay marriage. (Via The Philadelphia Inquirer, NBC, NPR, The Washington Post)  

Wednesday's rulings in Indiana and Utah bring the total number of states that permit same-sex marriage to 21.