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Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Ind. Decisions - "Appeals court orders state to recognize one same-sex marriage"

Tim Evans of the Indianapolis Star has a good story in this morning's paper on yesterday's decision by the 7th Circuit on an emergency motions to lift the stay of district Judge Young's order for Indiana's recognition of same-sex marriages, with respect to one couple. A few quotes:

A three-judge panel from the federal appeals court in Chicago ordered the unique recognition for the Munster couple a day after it announced plans to expedite the appeal of U.S. District Judge Richard Young's ruling last week that found Indiana's ban unconstitutional.

Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond School of Law professor who has been tracking same-sex marriage legal cases across the country, said this is the first case he is aware of in which a federal appeals court has ordered a state to recognize the marriage of a gay couple while an appeal is pending. * * *

"It is time for the state of Indiana to leave Niki and Amy in peace and not subject them and their marriage to any more stress and uncertainty as this case proceeds," said Paul D. Castillo, staff attorney for Lambda Legal, a national gay-rights legal firm that represented the couple in its lawsuit against the state. * * *

Attorneys from Lambda Legal had filed a request Monday seeking an emergency order granting the couple recognition. A spokeswoman criticized Attorney General Greg Zoeller, who is leading Indiana's push to overturn Young's ruling.

"Attorney General Zoeller's callous disregard for this family's circumstances is heartless, cruel, and unbecoming of a public official charged with representing the interests of all Hoosiers," Camilla Taylor said. "He is taking steps that no other attorney general anywhere in the country has in fighting to deny respect to the marriage of only one couple facing very significant health issues."

Zoeller's office issued a statement Tuesday indicating he sympathized with the couple and wished there was some wiggle room under the law to help them.

"The state has extensively researched this matter and sincerely wishes it found a provision within our state's statutes that would allow for some extraordinary relief or humanitarian exception to the rule of law that would grant what petitioners request," Zoeller said. "If this court can find an exception that would apply, this circumstance surely warrants its use."

Spokeswoman Staci Schneider said the attorney general's office respects the court's ruling in this matter and would have no further comment at this time.

More from the story:
The decision to expedite the appeal issued late Monday will speed up the process by about six weeks, with the final deadline for filing documents moved from Sept. 19 to Aug. 5. * * *

[Carl Tobias, a University of Richmond School of Law professor who has been tracking same-sex marriage legal cases across the country] said the 7th Circuit will probably be the fourth appeals court to rule on the issue. That could put it in the mix with others for Supreme Court review.

"If the 7th Circuit were to issue (its opinion) after too many others or after too much time had passed, the opinion may miss out on being the one reviewed," he said.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 2, 2014 08:14 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions