The Freedom to Marry in Indiana

Winning Marriage: October 6, 2014

Same-sex couples began marrying in Indiana on October 6, 2014 after the United States Supreme Court denied review of a federal legal case in which a federal judge and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit ruled that denying same-sex couples the freedom to marry in Indiana is unconstitutional.

History and the Path to Victory:

  • March 4, 1986: The Indiana Legislature passes a state statute restricting marriage to different-sex couples.
  • 1997: The Indiana Legislature updates the marriage statutes to add that the state will not recognize marriages between same-sex couples, even those legally performed in other jurisdictions.
  • 1997-2012: As Americans nationwide engage in conversations about why marriage matters, national and local advocates in Indiana take strides toward increasing understanding of same-sex couples and their families.
  • December 2012: Polling in Indiana tracks marked growth for the freedom to marry, reflecting the power of the national discussion of why marriage matters.
  • August 21, 2013: Freedom Indiana launches to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment in the Indiana Legislature that would deny the freedom to marry – as well as any other family status – to same-sex couples.
  • February 13, 2014: Marriage supporters succeed in ensuring that the anti-marriage constitutional amendment will not appear on the 2014 ballot, a significant step forward in the Hoosier state.
  • March 13, 2014: Same-sex couples and Lambda Legal file a federal legal case seeking the freedom to marry in Indiana, Baskin v. Bogan. This case is later joined with two cases, Lee v. Pace and a case brought by American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU of Indiana, Midori Fujii v. State of Indiana. In the same year, several other cases are filed, building momentum for marriage in the courts.
  • April 10, 2014: A federal judge rules that the state of Indiana must immediately respect the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, due to Quasney’s terminal illness. Read the order.
  • June 25, 2014: U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young rules in favor of the freedom to marry, striking down Indiana's ban on marriage for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples begin marrying for the next two days, before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit issues a stay on June 27th. Read the ruling.
  • September 4, 2014: The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirms the freedom to marry in Indiana, upholding Judge Young’s ruling. Marriage opponents seek review of the decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. Read the ruling.
  • October 6, 2014: The United States Supreme Court denies review of the case, bringing the freedom to marry to Indiana and paving the path to marriage in a total of sixteen states.
  • June 26, 2015: The United States Supreme Court rules in favor of the freedom to marry, ending marriage discrimination across the country.

Groups That Actively Worked on Marriage

  • Lambda Legal is a national legal group committed to protecting LGBT people and was the organization that brought Baskin v. Bogan, one of the cases that brought down Indiana's marriage ban.
  • Hoosiers Unite for Marriage was the grassroots public education campaign to build support for the freedom to marry in Indiana.
  • Freedom Indiana is a statewide bipartisan coalition of businesses, faith leaders, civil rights and community organizations, and individuals united to defeat a proposed constitutional amendment that would permanently ban all protections for same-sex couples and their families in Indiana. Freedom to Marry was proud to serve as a leading member of the coalition.
  • Indiana Equality Action is a coalition of organizations from around the state that focus on ensuring basic human rights for Indiana's LGBT citizens.
  • The ACLU of Indiana is the state affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union, committed to standing up for equality for all Hoosiers.
  • Freedom to Marry was the campaign to win marriage for same-sex couples nationwide.

Audio from the 7th Circuit Hearing on Indiana's Marriage Ban