Indiana governor and Donald Trump VP nominee Mike Pence signed into law a provision that sends LGBT people to prison if they apply for a marriage licence.
Bigoted lawmakers in Indiana passed a law making it a crime for individuals to apply for a marriage licence using falsified information. How does this apply to LGBT individuals seeking to codify their love with marriage? Indiana marriage licence forms only have sections for one male and one female. Therefore if a same-sex couple applies for a licence, they are in violation.
The absurd law was originally signed in 1997 which made it a felony to falsify a marriage document carrying a penalty of three years in prison. The updated law has reduced the penalty to just 18-months in prison, along with a $10,000 fine — and LGBT individuals surely feel how generous it was for that adjustment to be made. Zero data has been presented by state legislators to show how many, if any, individuals are actually applying for marriage licences in Indiana using falsified information.
However some activist groups, including the Campaign for Southern Equality, have been leading the charge in “protest” applications by encouraging same-sex couples to apply for licences in states which do not recognise same-sex marriage. In doing this these groups may well be sending same-sex couples unwittingly to prison.
The fun doesn’t stop there. Any individual who attempts to officiate a same-sex marriage in Indiana is also guilty of a felony. Those who stand up for the rights of LGBT individuals and conduct a wedding are liable for a $1,000 fine and also face 18-months in prison.
After July 1, 2017 these changes will be implemented. If Indiana’s backwards backroad concept of liberty is any indication of what Mike Pence has in store for America under a Donald Trump regime, all should be extremely worried.