US: Judge extends recognition of lesbian couple in terminal illness lawsuit

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A judge in the US state of Indiana has extended an injunction meaning the state must recognise the marriage of a lesbian couple, one of who has a terminal illness.

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.

Today, Judge Young extended the 10 April restraining order meaning the state of Indiana must recognise Sandler as the spouse of Quasney if the latter dies of cancer.

The ruling only applies to the one couple, and to no other couples legally wed elsewhere.

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.