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State of Indiana
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Current Status

  • Civil marriage equality in effect at the state level since 7 October 2014. (Same-sex couples may legally marry.)
  • Please see Letter to Indiana County Clerks - Guidance and Chart
  • 24 October 2014, this gives you an idea of what Indiana plans to spend defending "traditional" marriage, and challenging the state's new inclusive marriage statute. See the Bowling case under LAWSUITS-PENDING below.
  • The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians recognize marriage equality as of 8 May 2013.
  • 26 March 2015, SB 101, a hateful RFRA, was signed into law by Governor Pence. Please see LEGISLATION-ENACTED. The national backlash against the governor's action is overwhelming! However, we at MEUSA want to emphasize that we are fully aware that most Hoosiers, and most businesses in Indiana, do not agree with the governor's actions. The responsibility for the current situation sits squarely in the laps of a limited number of state legislators and the governor - all of whom serve at the will of the people and only by being elected to office. They can be removed from office, by the Hoosiers who are not being accurately represented by them and who do not support their actions.

 HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE

  • Annual attempts to adopt a constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman failed from 2004-2013. A new attempt to pass a constitutional amendment occurred during the 2013-2014 legislative session. The proposed text was: "Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana." If approved by both houses of the legislature in another session, that language can't be presented to voters until November 2016 at the earliest.
  • Indiana restricted marriage to male-female couples by statute from 1986-2014. Indiana denied recognition to same-sex relationships established in other jurisdictions by legislation from 1997-2014.
  • 7 October 2014, same-sex marriage was legalized in Indiana via a lawsuit/the courts.
  • 8 February 2015, Indiana Woman Who Fought Marriage Ban Dies of Cancer - AP via ABC News

Legislation - Pending

The legislature is in recess. 

 

Legislation - Enacted

SB 101- Religious Freedom Restoration   

Date Introduced: 2 February 2015
Author/Sponsor: Sen. Dennis Kruse [R] and Sen. Scott Schneider [R]
Date Signed Into Law: 26 March 2015

Description:

The warnings beforehand, and the immediate backlash and national fallout in response to the signing of SB 101 into law was so overwhelming that we created an additional page to post it: Forewarnings & Fallout - Governor Pence Signs Indiana RFRA/SB101 Into Law

Lawsuits - Pending

Summers v. Whitis

Case #: 4:15-cv-93
Court Level: Federal District Court
Date Filed: 17 July 2015
Date of Appeal:

Description:

  • Linda G. Summers, a former employee in the county clerk's office in Harrison County IN, is suing for employment discrimination based on allegations of religious discrimination. She was fired in December 2014 after refusing to issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple. 
Henderson v. Adams

Case #: 1:15-cv-220
Court Level: Federal District Court (7th)
Date Filed: 13 February 2015
Date of Appeal: 

Description:

  • 13 February 2015, this is lawsuit filed for a Lafayette couple, Ruby and Ashlee Henderson, against Tippecanoe County and state health officials, contending that the women should be allowed to have both of their names listed as parents on their son's birth certificate.
  • 13 February 2015, Same-sex moms demand names on son's birth record - By Dave Bangert, Lafayette Journal & Courier @ JConline 
  • 11 March 2015, an Amended Complaint was filed, adding new parties - both plaintiffs and defendants.
  • 7 April 2015, a scheduling order was filed setting an initial pretrial telephonic conference for Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at 4:20 p.m.
  • 9 April 2015, Indiana State Health Commissioner Dr. Jerome M. Adams filed his answer to amended complaint.
  • 4 May 2015, the Marion County defendants filed their Answer to the plaintiffs' Amended Complaint. The parties' case management plan was also filed.
  • 12 May 2015, a Minute Entry from the May 12 Initial Pretrial Conference was filed.
  • 13 May 2015, the judge issued a Case Management Plan.
  • 26 May 2015, the plaintiffs asked to file a second amended complaint, adding new parties. From EQCF: Per the motion, the new complaint adds "three additional families: Lyndsey and Cathy Bannick, a married couple and H.N.B. by his parent and next friend, Lyndsey Bannick; Calle and Sarah Janson and Unborn Baby Doe by his/her next friend and mother-to be Calle Janson; Nikkole McKinley-Barrett and Donnica Barrett, a married couple and G.R.M.B., by his mother and next friend, Donnica Barrett. "Additionally, the proposed second amended complaint adds defendants from the Vigo County Health Department and the Bartholomew County Health Department."
Bowling, Bowling & Bruner v. IN Governor Michael Pence

Case #: 1:14-CV-0405
Court Level: Federal District Court (7th)
Date Filed: 14 March 2014
Date of Appeal: 20 August 2014

Description:

  • Two lesbian women filed a federal lawsuit to have their IA marriage recognized by IN, and an additional plaintiff sued because her IA marriage was never recognized by IN.
  • Assigned to same judge hearing Love v. Pence and Baskin v. Bogan.
  • 21 April 2014, plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment.
  • 29 May 2014, defendants filed their motion for summary judgment and opposition to plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment.
  • 20 July 2014, the defendants filed an Anticipatory Motion for Stay of Judgment Pending Appeal asking the court to stay all judgments pending appeal to the 7th Circuit.
  • 19 August 2014, District Court Judge Richard Young, ruled finding in favor of the plaintiffs. The court ordered Indiana officials to end enforcement of all laws that allow the state to treat the marriages of same-sex couples differently than the marriages of heterosexual couples. He also ordered the state to allow married same-sex couples to file joint tax returns, and to provide benefits to married same-sex couples. The ruling granted the plaintiff's motion for summary judgment, denied the defendants' motion for summary judgment, and granted the defendants' motion for stay pending appeal. The decision was based on the Fourteenth Amendment's Equal Protection Clause. (Judge Young ruled on 25 June 2014 in Baskin v. Bogan, above, that Indiana's ban on marriage equality is unconstitutional.)
  • The judge used his August 19th ruling to take aim at Governor Michael Pence, calling Pence's previous claim to be removed as a defendant a "bold misrepresentation" (an outfront lie). Judge Young took exception to Gov. Pence's actions and reinstated him as a defendant. 
  • 20 August 2014, the state filed for an appeal to today's ruling to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Melissa Love, et al., v. IN Governor Michael Pence

Case #: 4:14-CV-15
Date Filed: 7 March 2014
Ruling Date: 25 June 2014 - Case reinstated on 16 September 2014

Description:

  • Clay Daniel Walton & Adams filed a federal lawsuit for 4 IN couples seeking marriage rights and an overturning of the state ban on same-gender civil marriage.
  • 25 June 2014, in Baskin v. Bogan, "For the reasons set forth below, the court finds that Indiana’s same sex marriage ban violates the due process clause and equal protection clause and is, therefore, unconstitutional."
  • 25 June 2014,The Governor’s Motion to Dismiss was granted. "Plaintiffs have failed to establish that the Governor has the authority to enforce, or plays any other role respecting, Indiana’s Defense of Marriage Act. Thus, the injuries of which Plaintiffs complain – i.e., the recognition of out-of-state same sex marriages and the issuance of a valid marriage license to a same sex couple – are not fairly traceable to the actions of the Governor, and cannot be redressed by the Governor."
  • "Plaintiffs also ask for leave to amend their Complaint under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 15 “to include the defendants this Court deems proper.” This request is likewise denied. It is not the business of the court to inform Plaintiffs who they should sue as party defendants."
  • 25 June 2014,the plaintiffs’ motion for injunctive relief was denied as moot.
  • Although previously dismissed, the plaintiffs later asked for this case to be reconsidered, in light of the fact that Gov. Pence was taking an active role in the enforcement of IN's marriage laws. On 16 September 2014, an order in response to that request for reconsideration reinstated the lawsuit in part, the part that involves recognition only.

Lawsuits - Resolved

Romero V. Brown

Case #2:14-cv-00325-JVB-PRC
Court Level: Federal District Court
Date Filed: 8 September 2014
Date of Appeal:

Description:

  • A terminally ill Indiana woman and her wife filed suit seeking state recognition of their Illinois marriage.
  • 10 September 2014, the parties involved filed a Joint Stipulation stating the the defendants "will not enforce Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1(b) against Plaintiffs and will recognize their out-of-state marriage" and otherwise staying the case until SCOTUS resolves the Indiana cert petition.
  • 11 September 2014, an opinion and order were issued adopting the Joint Resolution.
Baskin v. Bogan (Rae Baskin & Esther Fuller, et al. v. Bogan, et al.)

Case #: 14-277 (SCOTUS); 14-2386 (7th Circuit Court of Appeals), 1:14−cv−00355 (District Court)
Court Level: 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Date Filed: 10 March 2014
Date of Appeal: 25 June 2014

Description:

  • Lambda Legal filed a federal suit for 3 couples challenging the IN same-gender civil marriage ban, and especially end-of-life health care.
  • 22 April 2014, opposition was filed and argument was held 2 May 2014.
  • 8 May 2014 Chief Judge Richard Young granted a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) requiring the state of Indiana to recognize the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, who are preparing their family for the end of Quasney’s epic fight with ovarian cancer, and ordering the state to issue an accurate death certificate recognizing their marriage in the event Quasney died before the case could be decided.
  • 8 May 2014, the judge approved a preliminary injunction re: the same. The state immediately filed an appeal to the injunction and requested a stay pending the appeal.
  • 12 May 2014 Quasney and Sandler filed their opposition to the stay pending an appeal.
  • 25 June 2014, "For the reasons set forth below, the court finds that Indiana’s same sex marriage ban violates the due process clause and equal protection clause and is, therefore, unconstitutional."
  • The state immediately filed notice of appeal and an emergency motion for a stay of the ruling pending appeal.
  • 27 June 2014, the stay was granted.
  • 30 June 2014, the plaintiffs filed an emergency motion to lift the 7th Circuit's stay for terminally ill Nikole Quasney and her family.
  • 1 July 2014, the 7th Circuit ordered Indiana to recognize the marriage of Lambda Legal clients Amy Sandler and Nikole Quasney on an emergency basis "until further order of this court."
  • 9 July 2014, Mark Ahearn, General Counsel to Indiana Governor Mike Pence, issued a Directive instructing state agencies to deny recognition of all marriages of same-sex couples except that of Amy Sandler and Nikole Quasney. "Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1 is in full force and effect and executive branch agencies are to execute their functions as though the U.S. District Court Order of June 25, 2014 had not been issued. Also in compliance with the rule of law, the State will comply with the Court of Appeal's individual order recognizing the marriage of Amy Sandler and Nikole Quasney."
  • 11 July 2014, the State Defendants filed a Petition for an Initial Hearing en banc.
  • 14 July 2014, the 7th Circuit set argument for 13 August 2014.
  • 16 July 2014, the 7th Circuit canceled argument for 13 August 2014. No reason given.
  •  23 July 2014, the attorneys general of 10 states have joined in Indiana's appeal of a federal judge's ruling that found the state law banning same-sex marriage unconstitutional. The attorneys general of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota and Utah filed a friend of the court brief alleging it is not the judicial branch's role to determine whether same-sex marriage should be permitted.
  • On 25 July 2014, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rescheduled oral arguments in Indiana’s landmark marriage cases — which have now been consolidated with Wisconsin’s — for 26 August 2014. The 7th Circuit also denied the states' requests for initial hearing en banc. The cases will be heard first by a 3-judge panel.
  • 5 August 2014, BALIF Coaltion, including MEUSA, submitted Amicus Brief
  • 26 August 2014, very lively oral arguments were heard by 7th Circuit in Chicago; access audio.
  • 4 September 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit issued a unanimous decision affirming the lower court decisions overturning the Indiana and Wisconsin bans on marriage equality. 
  • 9 September 2014, Indiana filed a Petition For Writ Of Certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) asking that it review the 7th Circuit decision.  
  • 9 September 2014, the plaintiffs in all three of the consolidated Indiana cases responded to the Petition For Writ Of Certiorari, agreeing that SCOTUS should take the case. 
  • 10 September 2014, the state asked for a stay pending final disposition of their appeal SCOTUS. 
  • 11 September 2014, the plaintiffs filed their Opposition to Stay Pending Appeal.
  • 15 September 2014, the 7th Circuit granted the stay. "The stay will terminate automatically if the certiorari petition is denied or will terminate upon the judgment of the Supreme Court if the certiorari petition is granted."
  • 6 October 2014, SCOTUS declined to take any of the 7 marriage equality cases from 5 states on appeal, including this one. See page 40 of the order. The 7th Circuit's September 4th ruling stands.
  • 8 February 2015, Indiana Woman Who Fought Marriage Ban Dies of Cancer - AP via ABC News
  • Attorney Fees Settlements - Kirkland & Ellis ($325,000) and Lambda Legal ($325,00)
Fujii v. Dept. of Revenue (formerly Fujii v. Governor, State of Indiana)

Case #: 14-2387 (7th Circuit Court of Appeals);1:14-cv-00404-TWP-DKL (District Court)
Court Level: 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Date Filed: 14 March 2014
Date of Appeal: 25 June 2014

Description:

  • The American Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU of Indiana, and the Lemieux Law Office of Indianapolis filed a federal lawsuit yesterday on behalf of fifteen individuals, including a widow and two children, who have experienced harm and discrimination because of Indiana’s ban on marriage between same-sex couples and its ban on recognition of legal marriages between same-sex couples performed in other jurisdictions.
  • Assigned to same judge hearing Love v. Pence.
  • 3 April 2014, plaintiffs filed a motion for preliminary injunction and to advance trial to date of preliminary injunction hearing.
  • 3 June 2014, answer to amended complaint filed by Defendants.
  • 25 June 2014, in Baskin v. Bogan, "For the reasons set forth below, the court finds that Indiana’s same sex marriage ban violates the due process clause and equal protection clause and is, therefore, unconstitutional."
  • The state immediately filed notice of appeal and an emergency motion for a stay of the ruling pending appeal.
  • 27 June 2014, the stay was granted.
  • 14 July 2014, the 7th Circuit set argument for 13 August 2014.
  • 16 July 2014, the 7th Circuit canceled argument for 13 August 2014. No reason given.
  • On 25 July 2014, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rescheduled oral arguments in Indiana’s landmark marriage cases — which have now been consolidated with Wisconsin’s — for 26 August 2014. The 7th Circuit also denied the states' requests for initial hearing en banc. The cases will be heard first by a 3-judge panel.
  • Going forward, refer to Baskin v. Bogan above.
  • Attorney Fees Settlements - ACLU of Indiana ($149,933.24); ACLU LGBT & AIDS Project ($34,971.39); and Sean Lemieux ($11,625) 
Lee v. Abbot (formerly Pamela Lee & Candace Batten-Lee, et al. v. IN Governor Michael Pence, et al.)

Case #: 14-2388(7th Circuit Court of Appeals);1:14-cv-0406-JMS-DKL (District Court)
Court Level: 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
Date Filed: 14 March 2014
Date of Appeal: 25 June 2014

Description:

  • Federal lawsuit filed on behalf of 4 lesbian couples (and the children of one couple) married in other states, where one member of each couple is either a local law enforcement officer or a retired fire department officer.
  • Assigned to same judge hearing Love v. Pence.
  • 21 April 2014, plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment and motion for preliminary injunction.
  • 15 May 2014, defendants filed memorandum in support of their motion for summary judgment and in opposition to plaintiffs’ preliminary injunction and motion for summary judgment.
  • 16 May 2014, defendants filed their answer to the complaint.
  • 5 June 2014, plaintiffs filed their motion for summary judgment and preliminary injunction, combined with their response to Defendant’s motion for summary judgment.
  • 25 June 2014, in Baskin v. Bogan, "For the reasons set forth below, the court finds that Indiana’s same sex marriage ban violates the due process clause and equal protection clause and is, therefore, unconstitutional."
  • The state immediately filed notice of appeal and an emergency motion for a stay of the ruling pending appeal.
  • 27 June 2014, the stay was granted.
  • 1 July 2014, the plaintiffs filed a motion to lift the stay as to administration of pension benefits.
  • 2 July 2014, the 7th Circuit denied the motion.
  • 14 July 2014, the 7th Circuit set argument for 13 August 2014.
  • 16 July 2014, the 7th Circuit canceled argument for 13 August 2014. No reason given.
  • On 25 July 2014, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals rescheduled oral arguments in Indiana’s landmark marriage cases — which have now been consolidated with Wisconsin’s — for 26 August 2014. The 7th Circuit also denied the states' requests for initial hearing en banc. The cases will be heard first by a 3-judge panel.
  • Going forward, refer to Baskin v. Bogan above.
  • Attorney Fees Settlements - Karen Celestino-Horseman ($111,153.75); Fillenwarth Dennerline Groth & Towe ($95,345); Robert Katz ($39,000); Mark W. Sniderman ($38,821.50); Kelly R. Eskew ($27,592.50); and Sweeney Hayes LLC ($24,428.50).
In Re the marriage of Melanie Davis & Angela Summers

Case #: 53A01-1305-DR-221
Date Filed: 25 October 2012
Ruling Date: 20 December 2013

Description:

  • Melanie Davis filed a petition to dissolve her marriage with Angela Summers in 2012.
  • The two were married in 1999 when Davis was living as David Paul Summers, and they have one child. In 2005, Davis petitioned the Marion Circuit Court to change her name and birth certificate to recognize that she is female.
  • The trial court originally approved of the provisional order for dissolution, but then on 8 March 2013 sua sponte issued an order that the marriage became void when Davis’ birth certificate was changed to female based on I.C. 31-11-1-1. That statute prohibits same-sex marriage. The trial court dismissed the petition for dissolution.
A.C v. N.J.

Case #: 20A04-1301-DR-37
Date Filed: January 2012
Ruling Date: 31 October 2013

Description:

  • N.J. (the birth mother) and A.C. (the birth mother’s former partner) had a commitment ceremony in 2007 after they had been living together for two years. They also decided to have a child, and N.J. became pregnant through donor insemination and bore the child in April 2008. A.C. was present at the child’s birth. The two women and the child lived together as a family unit for over two years, according to the opinion for the court by Judge Ezra Friedlander, until they terminated their relationship in August 2010, when the child was just over two years old. N.J. allowed A.C. to have frequent visitation with the child for the next nine months, but then cut off visitation. A.C. has not seen the child since October 2011.
  • A.C. filed a petition in court in January 2012, seeking custody and visitation. At the subsequent hearing, she made clear she was seeking joint custody, not sole custody, as she did not contend that N.J. was an unfit mother. A.C. relief on the parties’ intent at the time the child was conceived that they would both be parents of the child, and her role as a parent until N.J. cut off contact, arguing that it was in the child’s best interest to continue that relationship. The trial court threw out the case, finding that A.C. was not a legal parent and did not have standing to seek custody or visitation.
  • The court of appeals reversed the trial court only on the issue of visitation, and sent the case back “to reconsider Partner’s request for visitation under the standard set forth in our third-party visitation cases.”

Ballot Initiatives - Pending

Indiana Marriage Amendment 2014 - HJR 3

Type & Purpose of Ballot Measure: Proposed legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.
Date Proposed: February 2011
Proposed/Sponsored By: Representatives P. Eric Turner (R-32) and David Cheatham (D-62)

Summary:

  • The 2014 version of the Indiana Marriage Amendment will not appear on the 2014 ballot as a proposed legislatively-referred constitutional amendment.
  • This measure would have defined marriage as between one man and one woman. The state already has a law that bans same-sex marriage, however, according to supporters, a constitutional amendment passed by voters would protect that law from being overturned in state courts.
  • The proposed constitutional amendment was altered in January 2014, requiring the legislature to vote on the new language during the next two consecutive sessions. This makes 2016 the earliest the altered measure could appear on the ballot.


Ballot Initiatives - Passed

None.

Polls

  • Per the IndyStar.com, in November 2013 an independent poll showed 58 percent of Hoosier adults opposed the idea of amending the Indiana Constitution to ban same-sex marriage, but most still weren’t ready to legalize it.
  • In December 2012, in a poll done by Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University and WISH-TV, 54% of the Indiana residents polled opposed changing the state constitution to bar gay couples from marrying, while 38% supported doing so. 

Forewarnings & Fallout - Governor Pence Signs Indiana RFRA/SB101 Into Law

2015-03-28_Protest_Indiana_RFRA_SB101_in_Indianapolis.jpg