The Indiana Legislature has recently voted to amend the state Constitution to prohibit same-sex marriage in Indiana. This matter will not be voted on by the public for some time, but in the interim, there are lawsuits moving forward regarding the same-sex marriage ban Indiana already has in place (by statute and caselaw).
Recently, four (4) lawsuits have been filed in Federal Court regarding Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage. Indiana Code 31-11-1-1 defines marriage as between a man and a woman only and does not recognize same-sex marriages, even if valid in the state performed. The parties suing are alleging that this statute and Indiana’s Defense of Marriage Act violates the 14th Amendment rights (Due Process and Equal Protection).
One of the lawsuits has been filed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and is on behalf of fourteen (14) couples, including children. The complaints of the parties differ, and include a woman who was not able to make decisions at the funeral home once her partner passed away. Another couple was married out of state and presently reside in Indiana and want to get divorced, but without recognizing the marriage, they cannot legally divorce in Indiana either.
The Indiana Attorney General, Greg Zoeller will defend the state of Indiana against the suits and defend the position of Indiana against same-sex marriage.
With the upcoming vote regarding the constitutional ban of same-sex marriage in Indiana, there are bound to be more and more lawsuits filed, as the definition of marriage continues to be debated. Stay tuned to our blog as we follow the marriage debate.
We hope that this blog post has been helpful in exploring recent trends in the marriage debate and pending legal cases related to same. This post is not intended as legal advice. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This blog post was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.