Federal Judge Grants Emergency Request To Force Indiana To Recognize Same-Sex Marriage
A federal judge has granted an emergency request ordering the state of Indiana to immediately recognize the union of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, who married in Massachusetts.
Judge Richard Young heard arguments in Evansville, where attorneys for Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney argued for immediate recognition of the couple's Massachusetts marriage via a temporary restraining order. Quasney, of Munster, was diagnosed in 2009 with ovarian cancer and is terminally ill.
The order will last for 28 days. A preliminary injunction hearing is scheduled at that time.
The couple argued that the emergency request for recognition is about dignity and recognizing a family.
The state argued that its definition of marriage is based on protections for children who come out of unplanned pregnancies and that granting temporary restraining orders are not a matter of emotional equity but of legal rights.
As we await the preliminary injunction, a legal expert speaks with the Indy Star about the possible outcomes of today's ruling:
Carl Tobias, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Richmond Law School in Virginia, said Young had a few options. They ranged from denying the couple's request to granting a narrow exception for this one couple or ordering the state to recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in other states.
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.