A judge has ruled in favor of a lesbian couple who petitioned to have their out of state marriage officially recognized by the state of Indiana.
The couple, Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, have been together for 13 years and were married in Massachusetts. The women have two children, aged 1 and 2, who were carried by Sandler. Sounds like a normal, run-of-the-mill family in this modern age, but Indiana still has a ban on homosexual marriage and does not recognize those marriages performed in one of the 17 states that grants them.
Sandler and Quasney’s petition to have their marriage officially recognized is a special case though. Quasney has been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer and has just a few months to live. Since the children were born by Sandler, custody rights are not in question. However, the family which survives Quasney will not receive death benefits, such as her life insurance or social security payout.
The judge has granted the couple their official marriage license, so Quasney’s death certificate will show this status, entitling Sandler and their children to benefits taken for granted by “traditionally” married widows. The judge’s ruling, a restraining order placed on the ban, cannot be appealed.
Read the full article here.
This case does not officially challenge the same-sex marriage ban in Indiana, and it is still being defended by the state’s Solicitor General’s office.