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Marriage equality Indiana: Judge to begin hearing gay marriage case

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The fight for marriage equality is set to get underway in the state of Indiana. According to the Associated press on May 2, a federal judge will hear arguments on Friday over a lesbian couple’s request for an injection that would prohibit the state from enforcing its gay marriage ban against their out-of-state marriage.

The couple at the center of the case is Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler. The couple requested the injunction because Quasney is battling stage 4 ovarian cancer and they want to have their Massachusetts marriage recognized in the state of Indiana before one of them dies. U.S. District Judge Richard Young has already gone as far as issuing a retraining order blocking the state from enforcing the ban on the couple. That retraining order was issued on April 10.

Young also ordered that the state to recognize their marriage on Quasney’s death certificate whenever it’s issued. The temporary order made Sandler and Quasney the first and only same-sex couple to have their marriage recognized in the state. The couple is one of several named in the lawsuit challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage and will present their side of the argument in count.

Although Quasney was thrilled with the initial decision from Young on April 10, that “amazing” feeling she experienced on that day quickly turned to a not so good feeling as she felt like her terminal illness resulted in special treatment. She told the Indianapolis Star regarding the temporary order, “I don’t feel good about it. I don’t want to feel like this should be a special privilege just because I have cancer. I think that does not seem right.”

Quasney would like all gay couples in the state to have that recognition. The couples in the case are pushing for a decision that will force the state to allow same-sex couples to marry in Indiana and will also grant recognition of gay marriages performed in other states where they are legal. A favorable ruling in the case is expected to be appealed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, joining similar rulings in the states other states where gay marriage bans were recently overturned and ruled as unconstitutional.

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