US: Indiana to appeal against ruling to recognise terminally ill woman’s marriage

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The US state of Indiana has surprised same-sex marriage advocates by announcing it will appeal against a ruling which means it must recognise the marriage of one gay couple.

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. An injunction was placed meaning the state must recognise their marriage, and the judge extended it yesterday.

Now state attorneys have filed an official notice asking US District Judge Richard Young to stay his ruling.

“The traditional definition of marriage has been around for a long time. Its validity is hotly contested, but the outcome of these legal disputes is uncertain,” the state said in its request for a stay.

The state continued that Young’s order “cannot conclusively resolve the legality of same-sex marriages,” and said he should have waited for a formal decision.

The problem, argued the couple initially, is that Quasney has stage four ovarian cancer, so may not survive to see the legal battles play out.
Judge 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 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.

His Thursday ruling did not impact on any other couples, and he did not rule on the constitutionality of Indiana’a same-sex marriage ban.

A ruling on that is expected later.