Baskin v. Bogan

(Consolidated with Lee v. Pence and Midori Fujii v. State of Indiana)

The Path to Victory:

On October 6, 2014, the United States Supreme Court denied review of the 7th Circuit's ruling in favor of the freedom to marry. The decision means that the 7th Circuit ruling stands and same-sex couples will be free to marry in Indiana. 

Case Background:

On March 13, 2014, Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit, Baskin v. Bogan, on behalf of three same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in Indiana. On March 31, the organization filed an amended complaint, seeking immediate respect for the marriage of a terminally ill woman and her wife. 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. 

On March 14, 2014, four married same-sex couples filed a federal lawsuit, Lee v. Pence, seeking respect for their marriage in Indiana. The women, all first responders, are working with Indiana Equality Action to make the case for the freedom to marry in their state. The four plaintiff couples in the case each include one spouse who worked as a public servant in Indiana. They include: Officer Pamela Lee (a military veteran who served as a police officer for 22 years) and her wife Candace Batten-Lee, who married in California in October 2013; Officer Teresa Welborn (who served with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department for more than 25 years) and Elizabeth J. Piette, who married in Hawaii in December 2013; Chief Ruth Morrison (who retired as batallion chief of the Indianapolis Fire Department after 27 years) and her wife Martha Leverett, who married in Maryland in September 2013; and Sergeant Karen Vaughn-Kajmowicz (a police officer for 18 years) and her wife Tammy, who married in Iowa in October 2013. Each of the officers attempted to list their spouse as their beneficiary for their pension, and each was denied, with officials citing laws in Indiana that deny marriage protections to same-sex couples.

On the same day, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Indiana filed a federal lawsuit, Midori Fujii v. State of Indiana, on behalf of 4 same-sex couples and the widow of a same-sex spouse seeking the freedom to marry - or respect for their marriage licenses from other states - in Indiana. The lead plaintiff in the case is Midori Fujii, who lived in a committed relationship with Kristie Kay Brittain from 2000 until Kris's death in 2011. The ACLU explained further, "Midori and Kris met in 1997 when both were serving on the Board of Directors of a local nonprofit organization, and they married in Los Angeles in the summer of 2008. Months later, when Kris was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and going through multiple surgeries, hospitalizations and treatments, Midori became her primary caregiver, using her sick leave, paid and unpaid time off to care for Kris. Because of Indiana’s marriage discrimination statute, Midori and Kris were considered unmarried and did not have the protections and decision-making authority they automatically would have been given by statute had they been an opposite-sex couple married in California and living in Indiana."

On June 25, 2014, U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young ruled in favor of the freedom to marry, striking down Indiana's ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The ruling was not stayed, and same-sex couples began marrying immediately. 

On June 27, 2014, Judge Young consolidated the case (at the time, Baskin v. Bogan) with two other marriage cases, Lee v. Pence and Midori Fujii v. State of Indiana, setting the briefing schedule in the appeal before the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. The opening brief is due on August 6, with the appellees' brief due on September 5 and a final reply brief due September 19. 

Oral arguments will be heard in the case by the U.S. Court of Appeals to the 7th Circuit on August 26, 2014.

The ruling followed a previous decision, from April 10, 2014, where Judge Young ruled that Indiana must respect the marriage of a same-sex couple from Munster, Indiana - Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, finalizing that ruling on May 8, without granting a stay. One of the spouses, Niki, was diagnosed in 2009 with ovarian cancer and is terminally ill. This previous ruling has been appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, and a request for a stay has been filed. 

On September 29, 2014, the United States Supreme Court  had its first chance to consider hearing this case, and on October 6 denied review.

Bowling v. Pence

The Path to Victory:

On August 19, 2014, U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled in favor of plaintiff same-sex couples seeking respect for their marriages performed in other states, saying that banning marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The ruling is stayed pending further action from the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit. In light of the October 6 inaction by the Supreme Court on the 7th Circuit's ruling, this judgment is likely final.

Case Background:

On March 14, 2014, private lawyers filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of two same-sex couples seeking legal respect for their marriage licenses in Indiana. One couple was married in Iowa and wishes to be respected as married in Indiana, and the other is a married couple seeking to divorce in their home state.

The attorneys in the case said, "With the General Assembly having concluding business yesterday without threat of HJR3, we are pleased to join with the many supporters of equality to challenge the discriminatory laws against same-sex couples here in Indiana."

Romero v. Brown

The Path to Victory:

On September 11, a federal judge allowed the state of Indiana to respect the marriage of Veronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera, a same-sex couple living in Whiting, Indiana who sought a preliminary injunction in their case. The women worried that because Rivera has advanced ovarian cancer, if she were to pass away, Romero would not be respected as her lawful spouse, depsite their marriage license. Rivera and Romero have been together for 27 years.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller explained, "Our 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has previously made an exception to Indiana's existing statute and recognized a plaintiff’s out-of-state marriage under similar, difficult circumstances. In this new case, the stipulation both sides filed mirrors the 7th Circuit’s earlier approach."

Both parties agreed to a stipulation that the marriage should be respected and that all other proceedings in the case should be stayed. In light of the October 6 inaction by the Supreme Court on the 7th Circuit's ruling, this judgment is likely final.

Case Background:

On September 8, private lawyers filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a same-sex couple with two children in Whiting, Indiana, seeking a preliminary injunction in their case to have their marriage respected by the state of Indiana. 

On September 10, all parties filed a stipulation - an agreement that  all parties agreed on granting the preliminary injunction for Veronica and Mayra and staying all other proceedings in the case. 

Love v. Pence

What's Happening:

On June 25, 2014, a federal judge dismisssed this case on the grounds that the Indiana Governor, named as defendant in the case, is not the proper defendant. 

Case Background:

On March 7, 2014, private lawyers in Indiana filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of four married same-sex couples seeking the freedom to marry in Indiana or legal respect for their marriages in Indiana. The case is being filed by one of the same attorneys who sued for legal respect for four married couples from Kentucky, Joe Dunham.

The plaintiffs include: Melissa Love & Erin Brock, an unmarried couple from Jeffersonville; Michael Drury & Lane Stumler, an unmarried couple from New Albany; Jo Ann Dale & Carol Uebelhoer, women who have been together for more than 35 years and married in Massachusetts in 2008; and Jennifer Redmond & Jana Kohorst, who married in New York in 2013 and live in Jeffersonville.

At a press conference announcing the lawsuit, the 66-year-old Stumler said, "How long do you wait before you decide 'I think I'd like to stand up for myself.' How long do you wait to say that?"

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