John M. Becker

Indiana Preparing for Possibly Broad Marriage Ruling

Filed By John M. Becker | June 16, 2014 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality
Tags: gay marriage, Indiana, marriage discrimination, marriage equality, same-sex marriage, stay order

indiana-map-greenwhite.jpgIn April, U.S. District Judge Richard Young ordered the state of Indiana to recognize the legal, out-of-state same-sex marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, an Indiana lesbian couple who married in Massachusetts last year. Quasney is in the final stage of terminal ovarian cancer, and the couple wants their marriage recognized on her death certificate.

On May 8, Indiana officials asked Judge Young to stay his ruling so that their discrimination against Sandler, Quasney, and their two children could continue. But we've heard nothing from Young since, and some Hoosier legal experts are interpreting this long deliberation as a signal that he may not just rule on the couple's specific case, but on the constitutionality of Indiana's statutory same-sex marriage ban as well.

From the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel:

Marriage law expert Seymour J. Reisman says it's unusual for a judge to take so long to rule on a stay. He and other legal experts predict Young could instead rule on the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban without first issuing a stay order in the Quasney case.

With three freedom-to-marry states (Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois) and marriage discrimination amendments in two more states (Michigan and Wisconsin) recently having been struck down as unconstitutional, the Midwest is a hotbed of marriage equality action these days.

A broad pro-equality ruling striking down marriage discrimination in Indiana would only add to the momentum in the region and bring a huge morale boost for LGBT Hoosiers. As always, watch this space for updates.

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