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Judge Gives Reasons For Ordering Ind. To Recognize Same-Sex Couple’s Marriage

Posted On April 22, 2014

By Mike Perleberg

(Indianapolis, Ind.) – A federal judge says that Indiana does not have a valid reason for banning gay marriage.

On April 10, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana Chief Judge Richard L. Young granted a temporary restraining order forcing the state to recognize the out-of-state marriage of northern Indiana same-sex couple Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler. The order is in effect until May 8.

Quasney has terminal ovarian cancer. In a new written order Friday, Young agreed that the couple – who have been together 13 years and share two daughters – has an urgent need to have their marriage recognized because of the illness.

The judge went on to state that the couple’s request was granted because they are likely to succeed in having Indiana’s gay marriage ban declared unconstitutional.

Young’s order only applies to Quasney and Sandler, though they are part of a larger federal lawsuit challenging Indiana’s marriage law. Following the April 10 ruling, the Indiana Attorney General sent a notice to all county clerks stating that there is no change in legal requirements for granting marriage licenses and that licenses for same sex couples are still prohibited.

The Indiana attorney general’s office says it will continue to defend the state’s law banning gay marriage. There are currently five legal challenges to the state statute before Young.