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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Ind. Decisions - More on: The status of the five Indiana same-sex marriage cases

In this April 22nd post, I wrote:

In a phone conference involving counsel in all five pending cases, Judge Young yesterday, Arpil 22nd, scheduled a hearing on May 2 at 9:30 Evansville time in Evansville with respect to the respective motions for summary judgment and for a preliminary injunction filed by the Lambda Legal plaintiffs (Baskin)and the Love plaintiffs. Those are the last two cases on the above list. Note that Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler, who received the temporary restraining order, are part of the Baskin lawsuit.
Today Tim Evans has more about that hearing in this Indianapolis Star story. The story begins:
Attorneys for the state and five couples who filed a lawsuit challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage will ask a federal judge next week to resolve the case — with each side seeking a ruling in its favor.

The couples want a decision that forces the state to allow same-sex couples to marry in Indiana and that grants recognition of gay marriages performed in other states where they are legal.

The state wants the court to uphold Indiana law that defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman.

Regardless of how U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young rules, the decision is expected to be appealed to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals — joining a raft of federal court rulings nationally that appear to be pushing the issue closer to the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court.

ILB: Although there are cases pending in many other circuits, I believe this would be the first to reach the 7th Circuit. More from the story:
[T]he state and the five couples behind the lawsuit are seeking a summary judgment to resolve the case without a trial. A summary judgment, according to law.com, is “a court order ruling that no factual issues remain to be tried and therefore a ... complaint can be decided upon certain facts without trial.”

The approach typically allows cases to be resolved much faster.

“The attorney general’s office has a duty to defend the statute passed by the legislature,” spokeswoman Erin Reece said in an email to The Indianapolis Star, “and the state will move forward to the next stage of this case before the trial court.”

A memorandum filed by gay-rights legal organization Lambda Legal in support of the five couples cites three reasons the state cannot justify its stance. They include the argument that there is “no rational relationship between the marriage ban and any asserted interest related to procreation or the promotion of optimal parenting.”

“Indiana law does not condition persons’ right to marry on their abilities or intentions of having or rearing children, but permits those who are ‘sterile and the elderly,’ or simply uninterested in childbearing to marry,” the document says.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on April 24, 2014 10:18 AM
Posted to Ind Fed D.Ct. Decisions