An update to the state’s criminal code classifies that it’s a Level 6 felony if someone submits false information or lies on a marriage license application. This is actually a downgrade from a Class D felony that was established by a 1997 law, but the adjustment has made news as a reminder that the law exists in the first place. Because the marriage form specifies one “male applicant” and “female applicant,” a same-sex couple could not actually use the form as its written. If a couple were thus to attempt submitting an application in protest of the state ban, they could face a maximum of 18 months in prison and a potential fine of up to $10,000.
And it gets worse: if you, as a member of a religious clergy, choose to recognize a union, well that's a misdemeanor.
The law actually has some particularly troubling language for clergy as well. Even if state law doesn’t legally recognize same-sex marriages, religious organizations have always been free to at least recognize them within their faith. That may not be so true in Indiana, where the new criminal code says that anyone “who knowingly solemnizes” a same-sex marriage is guilty of a Class B misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. It remains unclear if a solemnization has legally occurred in the absence of an issued license. Thus, if an Episcopal church, for example, decided to celebrate the union of two of its gay congregants, the priest might be in violation of the law.
So yeah, the same guys screaming about personal liberty over data monitoring, free speech issues and "the chilling effect" of the Obama administration's war on leaks, and how Obamacare's birth control rules are an attack on religious freedom have zero problem actually putting you in jail for a year an a half and will take your right to vote over your protest for equality.
That's what real, actual totalitarian, police state thugs do to people, make up laws simply to throw people in jail because they disagree with you over something so petty and inhumane in the first place that inequality becomes legal grounds for persecution of a class of citizens.
That's what real religious persecution looks like, tossing clergy in jail for acknowledging two people of the same sex can have love before whatever higher power they believe in. Providing low-cost birth control is not religious persecution, morons. Throwing people in jail because they say "I believe you two love each other and I recognize that" is.
Do we understand the frigging difference, people?