See the Text Messages That Led to Indiana's First Gay Marriage
It was any other Wednesday. And then it wasn’t.
It began as an innocuous ask from one partner of eight years, Jake Miller, to the other, Craig Bowen, to join him for lunch at City Market downtown. Bowen demurred, noting that he had been practical and packed his lunch that day.
Miller wasn’t done, though. Another idea came through Bowen’s cell phone: “Let’s get married today.” U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young, based in Evansville, had just ruled that Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. The hubbub over his decision was yet to grow into the biggest news statewide of the day, the week—the year?—but Miller was already in tune with it.
“Go to the courthouse,” Miller texted to Bowen. Another practical reply came in to Miller at his downtown workplace: “Our moms would kill us.” But Miller persisted: “Haha we can have a ceremony some other time.”
Bowen, who had been in a meeting for the past hour (full disclosure: a meeting with this writer), was still incredulous about the news of Judge Young’s ruling. “Are they doing it today?” he asked, amazed that same-sex weddings might already be performed in light of the judicial action. Miller’s response: “I’m almost to Emmis.” (Bowen is an employee at Emmis Communications, IM‘s parent company. Miller works at ExactTarget.)
A bit of confusion continued. “Is that where you go? Courthouse?” asked Miller. After all, it wasn’t as if a same-sex pair had done this before. “I think,” came Bowen’s unsure response.
Then the deluge: “I’m outside,” Miller texted. “I’ll come down,” came the reply. That was at 12:08 p.m. on Wednesday. An hour later, the couple were holding up their marriage certificate at the counter in Marion County Clerk Beth White’s office at the City-County Building.
Image courtesy Craig Bowen