For years Indiana Gov. Mike Pence has worked to undermine the lives to gay and lesbian families, but now a judge has ruled that he's finally gone too far.
Pence, who once called for a federal amendment to stop gay and lesbian couples from marrying, had asked Judge Richard L. Young to remove him from several marriage lawsuits in the state. Pence explained that his office has nothing to do with marriage, and Judge Young believed the governor.
But only a few days after Young granted the request, Pence issued a memo to state officials instructing them to prevent gay and lesbian couples from accessing the protections of marriage.
When Judge Young caught wind of Pence's contradictions, he was unamused. Calling the governor's claims "bold misrepresentation," the judge ruled that he would reconsider removing Pence from the cases.
The timing is particularly awkward for the governor. On Tuesday, Aug. 26, the Seventh Circuit will hear oral argument in several consolidated cases. Pence was at one point a defendant in those cases before Young removed him. It's unclear whether Young's latest ruling will compel the governor to participate in the Tuesday hearings or whether Pence will have to submit briefs at a later date.
Pence isn't the only anti-gay state official attempting to avoid marriage litigation. Officials in Utah and Arkansas asked courts last week to postpone or pause lawsuits.