Federal judge rules Indiana must immediately respect one couple’s marriage
Apr 10, 2014 at 11:45 am
Today, a federal judge ruled that the state of Indiana must respect the marriage of a same-sex couple from Munster, Indiana - Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney. One of the spouses, Niki, was diagnosed in 2009 with ovarian cancer and is terminally ill. The judge issued an emergency temporary restraining order declaring that Indiana must respect their marriage. The order will now last for 28 days, and then a preliminary injunction hearing will be held to determine further action.
A ruling favorable for Sandler and Quasney allows the couple to access certain benefits available only to couples who already are legally married in Indiana. However, the temporary restraining order could be overturned or vacated during future court proceedings.
The ruling is in Baskin v. Bogan, filed by Lambda Legal in March 2014 on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in the state. On March 31, the organization filed an amended complaint urging the court to grant immediate relief for Amy and Niki, who joined the suit.
Over the past four months, including today's victory, we've seen ten huge federal court victories in states across the country, and an additional big ruling is expected soon in Ohio. In total, there are more than 62 lawsuits seeking the freedom to marry or respect for same-sex couples' marriages working their way through the system in 30 states or territories. Keep track of what's going on in state, federal, and trial courts with Freedom to Marry's Litigation Resource.
The Indiana judge is the tenth federal judge in the past four months to rule in favor of the freedom to marry, after positive rulings from Judge Shelby in Utah, Judge Timothy Black in Ohio, Judge Kern in Oklahoma, Judge Heyburn in Kentucky, Judge Wright Allen in Virginia, Judge Garcia in Texas, Judge Coleman in Illinois, Judge Trauger in Tennessee, and Judge Friedman in Michigan.