Lambda Legal Denounces Indiana AG for Fighting Marriage of Woman Battling Cancer and Her Wife

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May 9, 2014

(Evansville, IN, May 9, 2014) — Lambda Legal today denounced Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller for appealing the court order issued yesterday ago compelling the State of Indiana to recognize the marriage of a woman battling stage four ovarian cancer and her wife.

Lambda Legal launched an online petition asking the public to help support the couple during this difficult time. Visit: http://www.lambdalegal.org/petition/indiana-attorney-general

“This is a shameful display of cruelty towards a loving couple with two children whose marriage is vital as they battle an aggressive cancer and fight to be together,” said Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal. “This is one family in all of Indiana. Their marriage doesn’t harm anyone in Indiana, it simply protects them and their children.”

Lambda Legal won an emergency order for Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler in April which was set to expire yesterday—the court order extends the requirement of the state to recognize their marriage throughout the court proceedings.

“We were so relieved when the court ruled that our marriage should be respected here at home, and we hoped we could go back to our lives together as a family,” said Niki Quasney, “I am shocked that the attorney general of my state would fight us like this. It’s just us and our daughters, and it’s heartwrenching to think that a powerful attorney like him wants to take away the constitutional protections that we should have never had to fight for in the first place.” 

Baskin v. Bogan, was filed on March 10, 2014 in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Indiana. Lambda Legal later filed a motion seeking immediate relief for Ms. Quasney, Ms. Sandler and their two children ages 3 and 1. Almost five years ago, Ms. Quasney was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, having more than 100 tumors removed surgically in 2009, and has since gone through years of chemotherapy. They have a civil union in Illinois and were married in Massachusetts in 2013 but need their marriage legally recognized in Indiana to receive the full protections that every other married family in Indiana receives.

Read the court’s order from yesterday: http://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/baskin_in_20140508_entry-on-plaintiffs-motion-for-pi

Sign the petition urging the attorney general to abandon the appeal: http://www.lambdalegal.org/petition/indiana-attorney-general

Read more about the families and the entire case here: http://www.lambdalegal.org/take-action/love-unites-us/indiana

Joining Lambda Legal Marriage Project Director Camilla Taylor and Staff Attorney Paul Castillo on the case are Barbara Baird of the Law Office of Barbara J. Baird in Indianapolis, Indiana, and Jordan Heinz, Brent Ray, and Dmitriy Tishyevich of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

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Contact Info

Erik Roldan Cell: 312-545-8140; Email: eroldan@lambdalegal.org

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