Sunday, February 14, 2016

Elkhart couple Dalanna Bottorff and Amanda Batts smile as they hold up their marriage license outside of the Elkhart County Courthouse Thursday morning, June 26, 2014, in Goshen. "We've been waiting 16 years for this," said Batts. (Sarah Welliver / The Elkhart Truth) (Buy this photo)

Kathy Saunders, left, and her partner Sharon Stanley fill out a marriage license application inside the County Clerk's office in the St. Joseph County Courthouse on Wednesday, June 25, 2014, in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo / Robert Franklin, South Bend Tribune) (Buy this photo)
Fewer same-sex couples applying for marriage licenses in Elkhart County than St. Joseph, Marion counties

Posted on June 26, 2014 at 2:31 p.m.

Some Indiana courthouses yesterday seemed less like government offices and more like the scenes of massive parties. 

In a way, that’s what they were.

When a federal judge unexpectedly struck down Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage around noon Wednesday, June 26, crowds of same-sex couples in some counties — like Marion and, to a lesser extent, St. Joseph — rushed to the courthouse to get married.

In Elkhart County, that wasn’t quite the case.

'More than happy to do it’

By the end of the day Wednesday, only two same-sex couples in Elkhart County had sought and received marriage licenses.

While that number can be attributed to the county’s delay in issuing the licenses, there were never any crowds or lines at either the Elkhart County Courthouse in Goshen or the County Courts Building in Elkhart, according to Elkhart Truth reporters at both locations. 

“My staff are prepared,” Wendy Hudson, county clerk, said late Wednesday.

She waited until the Indiana Attorney General spoke on the ruling late Wednesday before giving local courts the green-light to issue licenses.

“We're more than happy to do it until we hear otherwise,” she said.

Despite Hudson’s OK, no lines formed in either Elkhart or Goshen on Thursday morning.

For the first hour the County Courts Building was open, only one same-sex couple applied for a marriage license — Cody Sanford and Ulises Juarez of Nappanee

By 10 a.m. Thursday, only two same-sex couples had gone to the Goshen Courthouse for a marriage license.

The numbers so far

In total, six marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples in Elkhart County between Wednesday and 11:30 a.m. Thursday, according to county staff.

In that same time frame, St. Joseph County issued at least 40 total marriage licenses had been issued to same-sex couples, according to county staff.

Down south at the Marion County City-County Building, officials were greeted Thursday to a line of same-sex couples waiting outside the building when it opened at 8 a.m., according to our reporting partners at WNDU.

By midday Thursday, courts buildings in Elkhart County continued to remain fairly quiet.

The Elkhart Truth will continue to update the information in this story as it becomes available.

Reporters Angelle Barbazon, Sharon Hernandez and Tori Fater contributed to this story.