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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Ind. Law - "Opponents of Indiana ban on gay marriage cite concerns about impact on 614 laws"

Mike Leonard reports in the Bloomington Herald Times in a $$ story that begins:

Nine months ago, more than 25 students in the Indiana University Maurer School of Law began research into what the legal consequences might be if Indiana writes a ban on same-sex marriage and civil unions into the state constitution.

They came up with 614 laws that could be affected — ranging from laws that govern probate, inheritance and financial matters to personal affairs such as visitation and custody rights to laws governing the ethics of conflicts of interest involving family members.

Students working on the law school’s LGBT Project teamed up with representatives of Indiana Equality Action for news conferences in Bloomington and Indianapolis Monday to announce their findings, detailed in a report, “More Than Just a Couple: 614 Reasons Why Marriage Equality Matters in Indiana.”

While Indiana law already bans same-sex marriage, opponents of same-sex marriage and civil unions passed a proposal to write the ban into the Indiana Constitution in 2011. The proposed amendment is all but assured of being introduced in the next successive Legislature in 2013, and if passed, it will be put to voters in a referendum in 2014, as required by the state constitution. * * *

Maurer student Donald E. Bierer said the measure could affect just about every area of Indiana law, from inheritance tax treatment to dealing with governmental agencies to removing protections guarding against conflict of interest situations involving family members.

Maurer student Cara M. Johnson said the measure illustrates how broadly marriage status permeates the law and how a constitutional ban denying any type of benefits to same-sex partners could affect various types of inheritance and tax law.

Here is the Indiana Equality Action web page and here is the 62-page report, subtitled "A Compendium of the Rights and Responsibilities of Civil Marriage in the Indiana Code." From the introduction:
What is clear from this compendium is the extent to which Indiana law uses civil marriage as a way to classify, grant rights to, and impose responsibilities upon couples and families in 614 ways. We hope that it serves as a resource for examining how legislative action around marriage can affect all Hoosier couples and families.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 27, 2012 09:08 AM
Posted to Indiana Law