DAVIESS COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) – Same-sex marriage supporters rallied in Daviess County Monday, amid an equal rights battle playing out at the Indiana Statehouse. A federal judge struck down Indiana’s gay marriage ban Wednesday and the act had same-sex couples in counties across Indiana vying for marriage licenses. Immediately following the federal overturning, The Indiana Attorney General’s office filed a stay to halt the ban overturn.
Despite the turmoil in the courts, a scene playing out at the Daviess County Courthouse reflected the struggles of one man who attempted to get a marriage license, in the window of time where it was applicable, and was denied the application.
Shawn Colvin, again, found himself in front of the Daviess County Courthouse speaking to reporters. Colvin told News 10 an earlier interview, when he first found out he could apply for a same sex marriage license, he jumped at the opportunity, but found himself, according to him, lectured by Daviess County Clerk Sherri Healy.
Colvin accused Healy of denying his same-sex marriage permit for religious reasons. Healy told News 10 in an earlier interview, she wanted more concrete information from the state before proceeding with the paperwork. She also told News 10 she did not have the proper legal documents to issue the license.
“It takes everything I have not to burst out in tears,” said Colvin, recalling the day his license request was denied. However, on Monday, Colvin’s cries would not go unheard. Around 50 people supporting his cause would take to the Daviess County Courthouse lawn for a rally.
Photo Gallery | Same-sex marriage rally
The Rally would be bitter sweet for Colvin, and partner Richie, as both men said they had to work later Monday and would to miss out. Around 12:30 Colvin and partner Richie were joined by Sydney Leathers. Leathers told News 10 she orchestrated the rally, and would be fine if she were the only one who turned out. Leathers said she was offended by the accusations that Healy denied Colvin a marriage permit for religious reason.
“But personally, I think she’s a bigot,” said Leathers. “I think it’s important for Sherri Healy to know that young people are paying attention and that we vote, and we’re here and we’re not just going to let that stuff slide.”
Leathers told News 10 she drove 45 minutes to Washington from Princeton to attend the rally. A small group set up shop in front of the courthouse. Some held signs, other waved flags that represented same sex pride. A few minutes into the rally, a group of same-sex supporters went into the building and began chanting.
“What do we want?” shouted one man, “Equal Rights!” responded the group.
“The more people that hear us, the better off it will be,” said Colvin. He told News 10 since his initial media interviews, he’d received more than 100 telephone calls praising his efforts. For the first time since Colvin told his story, partner Richie Poehlein also weighed in on the Daviess County Clerk’s decision.
“We’ve been discriminated against,” said Poehlein.
Poehlein explained that he and Colvin were well liked in the community and both were well known because of their retail careers. He also noted that up until this incident, he, nor Colvin had any problems in Daviess County as a same-sex couple.
News 10 reached out to Daviess County Clerk Sherri Healy for comment on this story, our calls were not returned. However, a group of Sherri Healy supporters were also in attendance at the rally. They stood beside a car on the east side of the courthouse. News 10 asked several members of that party for an on camera interview but requests were denied.
One friend to Healy explained to News 10, the county clerk had received hate mail since declining the marriage license. Another person told News 10 that Healy ‘was just doing her job.’
“I have taken this stance that we will not issue them until we get a direct order too,” said Sherri Healy in a prior News 10 interview.
News 10s Southern Bureau Chief Eric Stidman contributed to this article, alongside its original author, Digital Media Manager, Christopher Essex.