US: Judge expected to rule in same-sex couple’s terminal illness lawsuit

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A judge in the US state of Indiana is expected to rule today in the case of a terminally ill woman and her wife who sued the state to have it recognise their out-of-state marriage.

The couple, Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney married in Massachusetts, and who live in Munster, last month requested that the state immediately recognise their marriage.

US District Judge Richard Young in Evansville, on 10 April heard arguments in the case over whether to grant the restraining order to the couple, as one of them is likely to die of ovarian cancer.

Judge Young has since said there was “no valid reason” not to recognise the marriage.  He said that attorneys defending Indiana’s gay marriage ban haven’t shown any good reason to not recognise the marriage.

Despite the order only applying to the one couple, he also stated they were likely to succeed in their bid to have Indiana’s gay marriage ban declared unconstitutional.

The 28-day restraining order was granted, but is due to be reviewed today.

Same-sex marriage advocates in the state hope a new ruling today might carry wider implications going forward.

Attorneys for the couple appeared last week to ask Judge Young to extend the injunction.

From Lambda Legal, the attorneys also asked the judge to make a ruling which would allow gay couples to marry in the state, as well as to have the state recognise marriages performed elsewhere.

Whichever way Judge Young rules, the decision is expected to be appealed in the US 7th District Court of Appeals.