Lambda Legal Files Federal Suit Seeking Marriage for Same-Sex Couples in Indiana

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“Same-sex couples and their families in the Hoosier state are vulnerable every day that they are denied the freedom to marry.”
March 13, 2014
Paul D. Castillo
“Many families are helped and no one is hurt when same-sex couples are treated fairly by their government. Even if couples travel out of state to marry they will still be denied any respect by the state of Indiana and there are many important federal benefits, such as Family Medical Leave, that will be denied because those benefits are based on whether or not the home state respects the marriage.”

(Indianapolis, IN, March 12, 2014) – On Monday, in the United States District Court Southern District of Indiana, Lambda Legal filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of three same-sex couples who seek the freedom to marry in their home state of Indiana.

"Same-sex couples and their families in the Hoosier state are vulnerable every day that they are denied the freedom to marry,” said Paul Castillo, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal. “Many families are helped and no one is hurt when same-sex couples are treated fairly by their government. Even if couples travel out of state to marry they will still be denied any respect by the state of Indiana and there are many important federal benefits, such as Family Medical Leave, that will be denied because those benefits are based on whether or not the home state respects the marriage.”

Lambda Legal filed the lawsuit against Boone County Clerk Penny Bogan, Porter County Clerk Karen M. Martin, and Lake County Clerk Michael A. Brown, as well as Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller on behalf of three same-sex couples. Rae Baskin (60) and Esther Fuller (78), Bonne Everly (56) and Linda Judkins (57), and Dawn Lynn Carver (41) and Pamela Eanes (50). Ms. Baskin and Ms. Fuller have been together for twenty-four years and reside in Whitestown, Indiana. Ms. Everly and Ms. Judkins have been in a loving, committed relationship for over thirteen years and live in Chesterton, Indiana. Ms. Carver and Ms. Eanes, residents of Munster Indiana, have shared their lives together for seventeen years. All three couples wish to marry in Indiana, which bans marriage for gay and lesbian couples.

As recently as last month the Indiana legislature considered HJR-3 a proposed state constitutional amendment that would have barred same-sex couples from marriage. Freedom Indiana brought together a broad coalition of businesses, community leaders, churches and LGBT people to stand up for fairness.

“After all that testimony against the bill it was clearer than ever that allowing same-sex couples to marry is vitally important,” Castillo added.

“We just want what everyone else has in Indiana – a real, honest and legal marriage,” said Rae Baskin. “We are a family. Esther loves me unconditionally and I can’t imagine life without her.”

Read the complaint here: http://www.lambdalegal.org/in-court/legal-docs/baskin_in_20140310_complaint-for-declaratory-and-injunctive-relief

Paul Castillo, Staff Attorney, and Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director, are handling the case Baskin v. Bogan for Lambda Legal. They are joined by Barbara Baird of the Law Office of Barbara J. Baird in Indianapolis as well as Jordan Heinz, Brent Ray, Dmitriy Tishyevich and Robyn English of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago.

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Contact Info

Erik Roldan Cell: 312-545-8140; Email: eroldan@lambdalegal.org Lisa Hardaway Cell: 973-902-9298; Email: lhardaway@lambdalegal.org

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