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Friday, February 18, 2005

Ind. Decisions - Gay marriage ruling wll not be appealed to Supreme Court

"Same-sex marriage ban stands: 3 gay couples say they won't take ruling that upholds law to the state's Supreme Court" is the headline to a story today by Tim Evans in the Indianapolis Star. The case is Ruth Morrison, et al. v. Sadler (1/20/05 IndCtApp). Access the Jan. 20th ILB entry and case link here. For commentary, see this Jan. 21st entry.

Today's story quotes one of the plaintiffs:

"We are in no way admitting defeat," said Dawn Egler. "We are simply choosing to redirect our energy."

Their new focus, she said, will be on helping to defeat a state constitutional amendment that would bans same-sex marriage.

Legislation starting the amendment process has been approved by the Senate's Committee on Corrections, Criminal and Civil Matters and could be voted on next week by the full Senate.

Approval by the legislature this year would be the first step in the process, which requires legislative approval again in 2007 or 2008 and a public referendum, before the amendment becomes law. The earliest it could come up for a public vote is November 2008.

Dawn Egler said the couples spoke to several people about making an appeal to the state Supreme Court.

"They all agreed that the risk of moving forward outweighed the benefits," she said.

The downside included the possibility of an unfavorable ruling, which would set a legal precedent that could hinder future challenges -- and an anti-gay backlash.

"If the plaintiffs had appealed and lost, the Supreme Court decision would have had influence beyond Indiana's borders. Just as the Indiana appellate court quoted from the legal opinions of sister states in its decision, so sister states could use an Indiana Supreme Court decision to deny same-sex families marriage-based rights," said Jennifer A. Drobac, an associate professor at the Indiana University School of Law-Indianapolis.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 18, 2005 11:53 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions