Court Rules that Indiana Must Recognise Terminally Ill Lesbian’s Marriage

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Prior to the current flood of in-state support for same-sex marriage, in which several states in the United States of America have had their same-sex marriage bans struck down by judges who have deemed the bans as a violation of the United States Constitution (and are therefore unlawful), judges in the state of Indiana made waves back in May when it was forced to recognise the marriage of Niki Quasney – who has terminal ovarian cancer – and Amy Sandler. At the time, the judge said that there was “no reason” to delay the recognition and in some cases it paved the way for last week’s decision by US District Judge Richard Young to throw out Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages altogether. However, as the appeals court recently saw that ban reinstated, it may be back to square one for Quasney, Sandler and other same-sex couples like them.

The appeals court in question saw that the ban would be put in place until the appeal is over. It’s unclear as to whether or not the appeal would be successful and therefore bring back Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban full-time, but that ruling did mean that Quasney and Sandler’s marriage was no longer recognised by the state. Thankfully, the ruling was partially overturned by the 7th Circuit Court of appeals meaning good news for the couple at least as their marriage will now be recognised once more.

Paul D. Castillo, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal said of the rulings,

“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 favour of this family as Niki battles stage four ovarian cancer. We will continue to fight until no family in Indiana needs to worry about their marriage being stripped away from them and all Hoosiers have the freedom to marry.”

Hopefully the stress will be kept off of the couple in the future but other couples will possibly have to wait until the end of Summer for a definitive decision on Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban, given that the appeals court is waiting until the 5th of August to hear the case. We’ll keep you posted on developments in the case once we know more.

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