New lawsuits in Arizona, Florida and Indiana call for the freedom to marry
Mar 13, 2014 at 12:00 pm
On March 13, a trio of federal lawsuits concerning marriage protections for same-sex couples, were filed in three different states. The cases - filed in Arizona, Florida, and Indiana - join more than 50 other lawsuits where same-sex couples are seeking the freedom to marry or respect for their marriages performed in other states. Marriage litigation is currently pending in 28 different states, and in seven of these states, appeals are now before federal appellate courts. Learn all about Marriage Litigation HERE.
Lambda Legal filed this federal lawsuit - Majors v. Roche - in Arizona on behalf of seven same-sex couples - and the surviving spouses of two other same-sex couples - seeking the freedom to marry or respect for legal marriage licenses received in other states.
"Every day that same-sex couples in Arizona are denied marriage, the government sends a message that their families are not worthy of equal dignity and respect," Lambda Legal Senior Council Jennifer Pizer explained.
The plaintiffs include married same-sex couples, couples who want to marry in Arizona, and individuals whose same-sex spouses have passed away without Arizona ever respecting their status as a married couple. The lead plaintiffs are Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey (pictured), who are both in their 70s and have been together for more than 55 years.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida filed this federal lawsuit - Grimsley and Albu v. Scott - on behalf of SAVE, an LGBT organization in Miami and eight married same-sex couples seeking respect for their marriages legally performed in other states.
The lead plaintiffs are Sloan Grimsley and Joyce Albu, who work as a firefighter and a consultant assisting parents of children with developmental disorders, respectively. The women have been together for nine years, married in New York in 2011, and are raising a 2-year-old child together.
"I’m proud of the work that I do protecting my community, but the law in Florida doesn’t let me protect my own family," Grimsley explained. "We just want the peace of mind of knowing that those vows we took to care for one another aren’t dependent on where we are."
Lambda Legal filed this federal lawsuit - Baskin v. Bogan -on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in Indiana.
The plaintiffs include: Rae Baskin and Esther Fuller, who have been together for 24 years; Bonne Everly and Linda Judkins, together for over 13 years; and Dawn Lynn Carver and Pamela Eanes, together for 17 years. All of the couples are unmarried.
The named plaintiff, Rae Baskin, explained, "We just want what everyone else has in Indiana – a real, honest and legal marriage. We are a family. Esther loves me unconditionally and I can’t imagine life without her.”