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Same-sex couple’s bid for recognition expedited due to grave illness

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The chief federal judge in Indianapolis quickly summoned lawyers to address a same-sex couple’s emergency request that Indiana recognize their Massachusetts marriage because one of the women is gravely ill.

Nikole Rai Quasney and Amy Melissa Sandler of Munster on Monday asked for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction that would enjoin the state from enforcing laws against same-sex marriage. The couple requested an expedited hearing because Quasney, mother of two young children, has stage IV ovarian cancer.

“Because of this aggressive cancer, Niki measures the rest of her life in weeks, not years,” a brief in support of the request says.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Richard Young of the Southern District of Indiana on Tuesday summoned attorneys for a telephone conference set for 2 p.m. Friday. Young advised them to be prepared to address the request for an injunction and temporary restraining order.

Quasney and Sandler also seek a court order that, in the event of Quasney’s death, the Indiana Department of Health be required to complete a death certificate listing her as married, with Sandler recorded as the surviving spouse.

Continued enforcement of the ban, the supporting brief argues, “will cause grave harm to a loving couple confronted with an impending tragic loss. The public simply has no interest in denying Amy the rights she is entitled to as a surviving spouse upon Niki’s death.”

The couple is one three who sued the state March 10 backed by the national organization Lambda Legal. The case is Baskin et al. v. Bogan et al., 1:14-cv-00355, and names as defendants the clerks of Boone, Porter and Lake counties, along with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller.

Zoeller has vowed to defend Indiana’s prohibition on same-sex marriage in at least four cases to date, including Baskin, that seek to overturn Indiana’s ban in federal court.

Young presides in all the cases. He has also set a phone conference on Friday for scheduling purposes in the related matters.






 

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  1. Family court judges never fail to surprise me with their irrational thinking. First of all any man who abuses his wife is not fit to be a parent. A man who can't control his anger should not be allowed around his child unsupervised period. Just because he's never been convicted of abusing his child doesn't mean he won't and maybe he hasn't but a man that has such poor judgement and control is not fit to parent without oversight - only a moron would think otherwise. Secondly, why should the mother have to pay? He's the one who made the poor decisions to abuse and he should be the one to pay the price - monetarily and otherwise. Yes it's sad that the little girl may be deprived of her father, but really what kind of father is he - the one that abuses her mother the one that can't even step up and do what's necessary on his own instead the abused mother is to pay for him???? What is this Judge thinking? Another example of how this world rewards bad behavior and punishes those who do right. Way to go Judge - NOT.

  2. Right on. Legalize it. We can take billions away from the drug cartels and help reduce violence in central America and more unwanted illegal immigration all in one fell swoop. cut taxes on the savings from needless incarcerations. On and stop eroding our fourth amendment freedom or whatever's left of it.

  3. "...a switch from crop production to hog production "does not constitute a significant change."??? REALLY?!?! Any judge that cannot see a significant difference between a plant and an animal needs to find another line of work.

  4. Why do so many lawyers get away with lying in court, Jamie Yoak?

  5. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

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