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Motions in marriage lawsuits attack non-recognition of same-sex unions

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Claiming they have a fundamental right to marry, same-sex couples married outside of Indiana have filed separate motions asking the court to grant summary judgment in favor of their challenges to Indiana’s marriage law.

Plaintiffs in two lawsuits – Lee et al. v. Pence et al., 1:14-cv-00404 and Bowling, Bowling and Bruner v. Pence et al., 1:14-cv-0405 – argue Indiana’s non-recognition of their marriages legally solemnized in other states is a violation of the Equal Protection and Due Process clauses of the 14th Amendment. Also, the non-recognition prevents the couples from accessing tangible benefits and causes harm to their dignity.

“The right to have one’s marriage recognized by state authorities is inherent in the right to marry, without the right of recognition, the right to marry is meaningless,” the plaintiffs asserted in the Lee lawsuit. “The right to marry, of course, is a fundamental right which is deeply entrenched in American jurisprudence, and which necessarily entails the right to remain married and have one’s marriage recognized.”

The motions were filed April 21 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Plaintiffs in Bowling also make the charge that Indiana’s marriage law violates the Establishment Clause because it advances religion. The couples claim the state’s argument against same-sex marriage is a “sham secular purpose” that attempts to hide the real purpose of furthering certain Judeo-Christian interpretations of the Bible.  

“Allowing the Defendants and the State of Indiana to continue to define marriage based on these religious interpretations has the primary effect of advancing specific religious beliefs,” the plaintiffs wrote. “By enforcing a religious-based definition of marriage, the Defendants are no longer neutral, which the Constitution requires. Defendants’ enforcement of Indiana’s DOMA shows government approval to a specific set of religious beliefs, which has the effect of sending a message to those who do not share those religious beliefs that their viewpoints are not as valuable as the religious beliefs approved by the majority.”

In addition, the Lee plaintiffs, who are all first responders, filed a motion for preliminary injunction. They are asking the court to preliminarily enjoin the state from refusing to recognize their lawfully wedded spouses as beneficiaries on their pension funds.
 

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  1. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

  2. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

  3. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

  4. I have dealt with more than a few I-465 moat-protected government attorneys and even judges who just cannot seem to wrap their heads around the core of this 800 year old document. I guess monarchial privileges and powers corrupt still ..... from an academic website on this fantastic "treaty" between the King and the people ... "Enduring Principles of Liberty Magna Carta was written by a group of 13th-century barons to protect their rights and property against a tyrannical king. There are two principles expressed in Magna Carta that resonate to this day: "No freeman shall be taken, imprisoned, disseised, outlawed, banished, or in any way destroyed, nor will We proceed against or prosecute him, except by the lawful judgment of his peers or by the law of the land." "To no one will We sell, to no one will We deny or delay, right or justice." Inspiration for Americans During the American Revolution, Magna Carta served to inspire and justify action in liberty’s defense. The colonists believed they were entitled to the same rights as Englishmen, rights guaranteed in Magna Carta. They embedded those rights into the laws of their states and later into the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution ("no person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.") is a direct descendent of Magna Carta's guarantee of proceedings according to the "law of the land." http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/magna_carta/

  5. I'm not sure what's more depressing: the fact that people would pay $35,000 per year to attend an unaccredited law school, or the fact that the same people "are hanging in there and willing to follow the dean’s lead in going forward" after the same school fails to gain accreditation, rendering their $70,000 and counting education worthless. Maybe it's a good thing these people can't sit for the bar.

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