John M. Becker

Indiana Couples Sue for Marriage Equality

Filed By John M. Becker | March 07, 2014 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: gay marriage, Indiana, Kentucky, lawsuit, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, same-sex marriage

scales_justice.jpgAdd the Hoosier State to the list of states with active marriage equality lawsuits: a Kentucky-based law firm filed suit in federal court today on behalf of four same-gender couples from southern Indiana who seek the freedom to marry.

The News and Tribune reports:

Louisville law firm Clay Daniel Walton & Adams announced the lawsuit today at its offices. The lawsuit was filed in Southern District of Indiana, which has a courthouse in New Albany. The couples are from Clark and Floyd counties and it's the only such federal case involving Indiana.

Attorney Daniel Canon said during a media conference Friday that Indiana is now under leadership that says his clients do not deserve the same rights, responsibilities and privileges provided to opposite-sex couples, simple because they are in a same-sex relationships.

"All of these couples that we represent are like any other opposite-sex couples in the state of Indiana," he said. "They live as married couples. They raise their kids together. They work and go to church in Indiana. They pay their taxes in the state of Indiana."

Canon said that the U.S. Supreme Court, through United States vs. Windsor, ruled last year that it is unconstitutional to treat homosexual partnerships differently than heterosexual couples.

"We are asking the Indiana federal court to recognize what every other court in the country has recognized [since U.S. vs. Windsor]." Canon said. "At this point, I think, it is fairly clear that the people of Indiana can not depend on the legislature to do what is right thing to protect their civil liberties and their constitutional rights, so we have turned to the federal courts."

Indiana's ban on marriage equality is not a constitutional one, but a statutory one; the law says, "Only a female may marry a male. Only a male may marry a female. A marriage between persons of the same gender is void in Indiana even if the marriage is lawful in the place where it is solemnized."

In addition to the new case in Indiana, the firm Clay Daniel Walton & Adams is representing four couples in a similar federal case in Kentucky. In that case, Bourke v. Beshear, a federal judge last month invalidated Kentucky's prohibition on the recognition of legal same-gender marriages performed out of state.

Canon hopes to replicate this success in the Hoosier State; Attorney General Greg Zoeller, a Republican, has vowed to defend Indiana's discriminatory definition of marriage.

A copy of the complaint is after the jump.

Love v Pence Complaint - Indiana Marriage Suit by JohnMBecker

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