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Federal suit filed against Indiana marriage statute

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While Indiana’s same-sex marriage amendment is on hold in the Legislature, a challenge to the state’s law banning same-sex marriage was filed March 7 in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Four same-sex couples living in Clark and Floyd counties filed the lawsuit against Gov. Mike Pence, challenging the constitutionality of Indiana’s law that prohibits issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples and does not recognize such marriages legally performed in other states.

In Love et al v. Pence, 4:14-cv-15, the couples are asking for an injunctive order directing the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples; an injunction enjoining the state from denying same-sex couples the rights, burdens and benefits associated with lawful marriage; and an order directing the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.

The plaintiffs are represented by Clay Daniel Walton & Adams PLC and Fauver Law Office PLLC, both in Louisville, Ky.

“My clients are part of Indiana. They work there, they raise their children there, they pay taxes there,” attorney Dan Canon said. “My clients are certainly ready to see the same-sex marriage ban lifted.”

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said his office will defend Indiana’s marriage statute.

“As state government’s lawyer, I must defend the state’s authority to define marriage at the state level within Indiana’s borders,” Zoeller said in a press release. “People of goodwill have sincere differences of opinion on the marriage definition, but I hope Hoosiers can remain civil to each other as this legal question is litigated in the federal court.”

Attorneys representing the Indiana plaintiffs also represented same-sex couples in Kentucky who filed a similar suit challenging the commonwealth’s statute and constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Also, the constitutional arguments being made in the Indiana complaint were asserted in the Kentucky suit, Love et al. v. Beshear, et al., 3:13-cv-750.

Both suits claim the bans on same-sex marriage violated the due process and equal protection clauses in the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, the Indiana plaintiffs argue the state’s ban violates the First Amendment’s freedom of association and establishment provisions.

The Kentucky plaintiffs were given a victory when U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky Judge John G. Heyburn struck down the commonwealth’s marriage amendment and part of the marriage law on constitutional grounds.

Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway has refused to appeal Heyburn’s ruling, prompting Gov. Steven Beshear to say he would then hire outside counsel to defend the ban.

Noting that constitutional arguments against same-sex marriage laws have been successful in federal courts across the country, Canon said the plaintiffs are confident the southern Indiana District Court will “do the right thing.”

 

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  1. Ah yes... Echoes of 1963 as a ghostly George Wallace makes his stand at the Schoolhouse door. We now know about the stand of personal belief over service to all constituents at the Carter County Clerk door. The results are the same, bigotry unable to follow the directions of the courts and the courts win. Interesting to watch the personal belief take a back seat rather than resign from a perception of local power to make the statement.

  2. An oath of office, does it override the conscience? That is the defense of overall soldier who violates higher laws, isnt it? "I was just following orders" and "I swore an oath of loyalty to der Fuhrer" etc. So this is an interesting case of swearing a false oath and then knowing that it was wrong and doing the right thing. Maybe they should chop her head off too like the "king's good servant-- but God's first" like St Thomas More. ...... We wont hold our breath waiting for the aclu or other "civil liberterians" to come to her defense since they are all arrayed on the gay side, to a man or should I say to a man and womyn?

  3. Perhaps we should also convene a panel of independent anthropological experts to study the issues surrounding this little-known branch of human sacrifice?

  4. I'm going to court the beginning of Oct. 2015 to establish visitation and request my daughters visits while she is in jail. I raised my grandchild for the first two and half years. She was born out of wedlock and the father and his adopted mother wantwd her aborted, they went as far as sueing my daughter for abortion money back 5mo. After my grandchild was born. Now because of depression and drug abuse my daughter lost custody 2 and a half years ago. Everyting went wrong in court when i went for custody my lawyer was thrown out and a replacment could only stay 45 min. The judge would not allow a postponement. So the father won. Now he is aleinating me and my daughter. No matter the amount of time spent getting help for my daughter and her doing better he runs her in the ground to the point of suicide because he wants her to be in a relationship with him. It is a sick game of using my grandchild as a pawn to make my daughter suffer for not wanting to be with him. I became the intervener in the case when my daughter first got into trouble. Because of this they gave me her visitation. Im hoping to get it again there is questions of abuse on his part and I want to make sure my grandchild is doing alright. I really dont understand how the parents have rights to walk in and do whatever they want when the refuse to stand up and raise the child at first . Why should it take two and a half years to decide you want to raise your child.The father used me so he could finish college get a job and stop paying support by getting custody. Support he was paying my daughter that I never saw.

  5. Pence said when he ordered the investigation that Indiana residents should be troubled by the allegations after the video went viral. Planned Parenthood has asked the government s top health scientists at the National Institutes of Health to convene a panel of independent experts to study the issues surrounding the little-known branch of medicine.

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