Same-sex couples seek to have their Indiana marriages recognized

Three same-sex couples who married in the days after Indiana’s marriage law was declared unconstitutional have filed a complaint in federal court, asserting the validity of their unions is not affected by the stay issued from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The couples, who all reside in Indianapolis, seek a preliminary and permanent injunction requiring the state to recognize their marriages and the marriages of all the other same-sex couples that were legally solemnized in Indiana after a District Court judge overturned the state’s marriage statute in June.

Echoing the original challenges to Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage, the plaintiffs argue the state’s refusal to recognize their marriages which were performed legally in Indiana violates their 14th Amendment rights of due process and equal protection.

The complaint, Alice F. Hoenigman, et al. v. Pence, et al., 1:14-CV-1426, was filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on Aug. 29. Attorneys from the law office of Richard A. Mann P.C. are representing the plaintiffs.

the law firm is also representing other same-sex couples who successfully challenged the constitutionality of Indiana’s marriage law in Bowling, et al. v. Pence, et al., 1:14-CV-0405.

The District Court in Southern District of Indiana ruled on the Bowling case Aug. 19, in which Chief Judge Richard Young reiterated his earlier ruling in three other lawsuits that the state marriage statute is unconstitutional. The judge also found Gov. Mike Pence is a proper defendant. Young’s rulings have been stayed, pending a ruling from the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In Hoenigman, the couples were married between June 25 and 27, the time from when Young overturned Indiana’s marriage law to when the 7th Circuit granted the state’s motion for a stay. The couples abided by state law by getting Indiana marriage licenses, having their ceremonies performed by individuals who can legally solemnize marriages as defined in Indiana Code 34-11-6-1, and then filing the license and certificate of marriage with the circuit court clerk.

The couples claim the state’s refusal to treat their marriages the same as any other singles them out for “disfavored treatment, demeans them, treats them as a lesser class and prevents legal shelter to them and their families.”

“There is not adequate remedy at law in Indiana for the Plaintiffs and other similarly situated same-sex couples and Plaintiffs are suffering irreparably injury,” the complaint states. “The granting (of) a declaratory judgment and injunction requiring Defendants to recognize Plaintiffs’ marriages, and the marriages of all other same-sex couples who legally solemnized their marriage in the State of Indiana, would not cause harm to Defendants, the State of Indiana or to opposite-sex marriages.”

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