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Indiana lawmakers introduce bill to protect same-sex marriage in 2023

Published Tuesday, Jan. 10th, 2023

Indiana House Bill 1122 would codify same-sex marriage protections and repeal the state's defunct marriage ban



Legislation introduced in Indiana today would amend the current state law to expressly protect same-sex marriage rights there. 


House Bill 1122, authored by Representative Kyle Miller (D) and co-sponsored by Representative Mitch Gore (D), would repeal a same-sex marriage ban that was added to the Indiana Code (IC) in 1986, and add clear language declaring marriage between people of the same gender legal in the state. 


If passed, Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1 would be amended to read: 


Sec. 1. (a) Repealed. 
 (b) Marriage between persons of the same gender is legal in Indiana.


For comparison, here’s a look at the statute as it’s currently written: 


Sec. 1. (a) Only a female may marry a male. Only a male may marry a female.
 (b) A marriage between persons of the same gender is void in Indiana even if the marriage is lawful in the place where it is solemnized.



Same-sex marriage was first banned in Indiana in 1986. Sec. 1. (b) was added to the statute in 1997 in order to deny marriage rights to all same-sex spouses, even those who were married out of state in a location that allowed same-sex marriage. 


Although the ban has been unenforceable since the 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which established national protections for gay marriages, it’s presence in the state’s statutes poses a continued threat to same-sex and other LGBTQ+ couples there. If the Obergefell ruling was ever overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court (as Roe v. Wade was last year), the ban could become active again. 


Related: The Threat to Same-Sex Marriage in a Post-Roe World



By amending the current law to codify same-sex marriages, lawmakers would ensure that LGBTQ+ couples there are protected no matter what happens at the national level.


Other states with defunct same-sex marriage bans have taken similar action to protect their residents in recent years, including Nevada and New Jersey (where legislation was successful), and Florida, Virginia, and Missouri (where legislation did not pass). At the national level, President Joe Biden signed The Respect for Marriage Act in December of 2022, ensuring federal recognition of same-sex marriages. Unfortunately, the measure does not prevent states from passing or enforcing their own local bans.  


If Indiana House Bill 1122 is passed, the change would become effective July 1, 2023. For now, the bill has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary and awaits further discussion. 


Read the full text for IN HB1122 here. 


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What’s next… 
Stay up to date on marriage laws in your state


Lawmakers around the country will be discussing hundreds of proposed changes to marriage laws in the coming days and weeks as the 2023 legislative session continues. To stay informed on what’s new and what might change regarding marriage laws in your state, visit the AMM News Page on the blog, and subscribe to AMM’s Monthly Newsletter: 





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American Marriage Ministries is a non-profit, interfaith and non-denominational constitutional church that provides free ordination, advocacy, and training for our ministers to ensure that all people have the right to get married and to perform marriage. Learn more here. 



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Two happy women hold up their hands to the camera to show off their wedding rings as they look at each other, smiling

This wedding script is perfect for same gender couples who want to celebrate their union with a reflection on marriage equality. Read the full ceremony script here.




Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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