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. Especially I would like to see all the republican voting patriotic good ole boys to stop and understand that the wars they have been volunteering for all along (especially the past decade at least) have not been for God & Jesus etc no far from it unless you think George Washington's face on the US dollar is god (and we know many do). When I saw the movie about Chris Kyle, I thought wow how many Hoosiers are just like this guy, out there taking orders to do the nasty on the designated bad guys, sometimes bleeding and dying, sometimes just serving and coming home to defend a system that really just views them as reliable cannon fodder. Maybe if the Christians of the red states would stop volunteering for the imperial legions and begin collecting welfare instead of working their butts off, there would be a change in attitude from the haughty professorial overlords that tell us when democracy is allowed and when it isn't. To come home from guarding the borders of the sandbox just to hear if they want the government to protect this country's borders then they are racists and bigots. Well maybe the professorial overlords should gird their own loins for war and fight their own battles in the sandbox. We can see what kind of system this really is from lawsuits like this and we can understand who it really serves. NOT US.... I mean what are all you Hoosiers waving the flag for, the right of the president to start wars of aggression to benefit the Saudis, the right of gay marriage, the right for illegal immigrants to invade our country, and the right of the ACLU to sue over displays of Baby Jesus? The right of the 1 percenters to get richer, the right of zombie banks to use taxpayer money to stay out of bankruptcy? The right of Congress to start a pissing match that could end in WWIII in Ukraine? None of that crud benefits us. We should be like the Amish. You don't have to go far from this farcical lawsuit to find the wise ones, they're in the buggies in the streets not far away....

  2. Moreover, we all know that the well heeled ACLU has a litigation strategy of outspending their adversaries. And, with the help of the legal system well trained in secularism, on top of the genuinely and admittedly secular 1st amendment, they have the strategic high ground. Maybe Christians should begin like the Amish to withdraw their services from the state and the public and become themselves a "people who shall dwell alone" and foster their own kind and let the other individuals and money interests fight it out endlessly in court. I mean, if "the people" don't see how little the state serves their interests, putting Mammon first at nearly every turn, then maybe it is time they wake up and smell the coffee. Maybe all the displays of religiosity by American poohbahs on down the decades have been a mask of piety that concealed their own materialistic inclinations. I know a lot of patriotic Christians don't like that notion but I entertain it more and more all the time.

  3. If I were a judge (and I am not just a humble citizen) I would be inclined to make a finding that there was no real controversy and dismiss them. Do we allow a lawsuit every time someone's feelings are hurt now? It's preposterous. The 1st amendment has become a sword in the hands of those who actually want to suppress religious liberty according to their own backers' conception of how it will serve their own private interests. The state has a duty of impartiality to all citizens to spend its judicial resources wisely and flush these idiotic suits over Nativity Scenes down the toilet where they belong... however as Christians we should welcome them as they are the very sort of persecution that separates the sheep from the wolves.

  4. What about the single mothers trying to protect their children from mentally abusive grandparents who hide who they truly are behind mounds and years of medication and have mentally abused their own children to the point of one being in jail and the other was on drugs. What about trying to keep those children from being subjected to the same abuse they were as a child? I can understand in the instance about the parent losing their right and the grandparent having raised the child previously! But not all circumstances grant this being OKAY! some of us parents are trying to protect our children and yes it is our God given right to make those decisions for our children as adults!! This is not just black and white and I will fight every ounce of this to get denied

  5. Mr Smith the theory of Christian persecution in Indiana has been run by the Indiana Supreme Court and soundly rejected there is no such thing according to those who rule over us. it is a thought crime to think otherwise.