Court orders Indiana to recognize 1 gay marriage


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — At least one same-sex couple in
Indiana will have their marriage recognized by the state following a
federal court decision Tuesday.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
in Chicago ordered Indiana to acknowledge the marriage of a lesbian
couple, one of whom is terminally ill, on an emergency basis.
emergency ruling came just days after the court stayed a federal judge’s
order setting aside Indiana’s prohibition of gay marriage as
Lawyers from Lambda Legal had asked the appeals
court for the continued recognition of the marriage of Amy Sandler and
Niki Quasney, who is fighting advanced ovarian cancer.
"It is time
for the State of Indiana to leave Niki and Amy in peace and not subject
them and their marriage to any more stress and uncertainty as this case
proceeds. We’re thrilled that the court ruled in favor of this family
as Niki battles stage 4 ovarian cancer," said Paul D. Castillo, attorney
for the national gay rights group Lambda Legal, who represented the
The three-line order contained no legal arguments or
reasoning, but simply ordered Indiana to recognize the validity of
couple’s marriage "on an emergency basis."
The women, who were
legally married in Massachusetts last year, filed a lawsuit seeking to
force Indiana to recognize their marriage. They were granted emergency
recognition in May while their case proceeded, in part so Sandler’s name
could appear on Quasney’s death certificate as her spouse. The couple
fears Sandler’s ability to collect Social Security and other death
benefits would be harmed if their marriage isn’t recognized.
appeals court did not rule on the overall issue of the constitutionality
of Indiana’s gay marriage ban, which went back into effect Friday when
the 7th Circuit stayed Judge Richard Young’s ruling that struck down the
Indiana prohibition. Young’s ruling Wednesday sent hundreds of same-sex
couples to clerks’ offices across the state to get marriage licenses
and be wed, but the status of those unions isn’t clear.
Indiana attorney general’s office had invited the court to grant a
hardship exception for Quasney and Sandler if it could find a legal way
to do so. State attorneys said they had been unable to find one.
Schneider, a spokeswoman for the attorney general, said Tuesday that
the office respects the court’s ruling but declined further comment.
hope the court will look at this marriage, as well as the hundreds of
couples legally married last week across the state, and understand that
to deny the freedom to marry is to inhibit equal protection of loving
Hoosier families under Indiana law," Hoosiers Unite for Marriage said in
a statement. "It cannot stand, and we will fight both the legal battle
and to make sure Hoosiers understand why marriage matters and why these
couples deserve protection."

No posts to display