Indianapolis can now say it had a mayor who presided over a same-sex wedding ceremony. In his last act as the city’s chief executive, Greg Ballard officiated the union of Jonathan Clifford and Juan Silva.
The event was held last Thursday, 31 December, in Indy Reads Books, a store that operates as a source of income for a literacy program (remember to drop by and make a purchase when you’re in town).
‘For nearly 15 years, Juan and Jon have known and loved one another,’ Ballard said at the gathering, according to NewNowNext. ‘They have stood side by side, through joy and through loss. They have nourished and nursed one another. They have shared their lives together and their love with their families. Now, they can complete this bond.’
The couple, as reported by Indy Star, wanted the Republican to run the ceremony because of his support of LGBTI rights and equality. In 2013, he joined 13 other in-state mayors in opposing efforts to ban same-sex marriage.
Last year, Ballard came out against the state’s ‘religious freedom’ law. In response, according to a Huffington Post article, he signed an executive order ‘reaffirming that groups doing business with the city must still abide by its human rights ordinance, which bars discrimination on the basis of categories that include sexual orientation and gender identity.’
‘We told him we understood that this could be controversial for him,’ Clifford said to the Indy Star. ‘We told him that we know this issue is very personal to a lot of people and that we understood if he wasn’t comfortable with it.’
Ballard was first elected as mayor in 2007, serving two terms.