As the marriage debate continues, we continue to update the cases and related information regarding same-sex couples in Indiana. In the past few weeks, an update out of the Southern District of Indiana was issued, and it was held, as a preliminary matter, that Indiana must recognize the same-sex marriage of parties who wed in Massachusetts as valid.
The Order on Preliminary Injunction (requiring Indiana to recognize the out-of-state marriage of the parties) was granted and Ordered on or about May 8, 20141. The parties, Niki and Amy, were married in Massachusetts and subsequently moved to Indiana. They have two (2) children together, and Niki has late stage ovarian cancer, which is terminal. Niki was travelling out of state to receive medical treatment in Illinois, where the marriage was recognized.
The parties petitioned the Court for a preliminary injunction calling for Indiana to recognize their marriage and list the parties as married and Amy as surviving spouse on Niki’s death certificate. The Court held that in this specific case only, Indiana Code §31-11-1-12 shall not be enforced against these parties, and Indiana is enjoined from enforcing same.
This is not a final Order ending the case. There is still argument and hearings to come. However, the Court held that a preliminary injunction is appropriate in this case. The Court also noted that based upon federal district Court cases post Windsor3, the plaintiffs are likely to prevail.
Again, it continues to be unclear what the outcome of the marriage debate will be. This case is far from over, but with the preliminary injunction, the case moves forward. We hope that this blog post has been a helpful update in the same-sex marriage arena in Indiana. This blog is not intended as legal advice. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This post was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.