Indiana Attorney General Seeks U. S. Supreme Court Review of Lambda Legal Marriage Case

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September 9, 2014

UPDATE at 3:40pm EST: Our Response to Petition for Writ of Certiorari has been filed.

Today, Indiana Attorney General Zoeller asked the Supreme Court of the United States to review Baskin v. Bogan, the Lambda Legal lawsuit seeking marriage equality for same-sex couples in Indiana. Within hours, Lambda Legal will file papers supporting the request for review.

Paul Castillo, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, said:

The Indiana Attorney General intends to ask for a stay of our Seventh Circuit victory. Only the highest court in the country can provide the secure relief that same-sex couples and their children need, and it’s extremely important that these families are able to count on the protections of marriage as soon as possible. Baskin was filed just six months ago, and we’re happy that our couples and all Hoosier families have had their love and commitment affirmed by lower courts so quickly. We achieved a unanimous Seventh Circuit opinion describing in some of the strongest language to date the harms experienced both by same-sex couples and their children when these families are barred from marriage. We are ready to make the case at the highest court if this case is granted review.

Love Unites US: Indiana

Baskin v. Bogan was filed by Lambda Legal on March 10, 2014 in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana.

Shortly thereafter, Lambda Legal filed a motion seeking immediate relief for Niki Quasney, Amy Sandler and their two children ages 3 and 1. Five years ago, Niki was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, enduring multiple surgeries and years of chemotherapy. After nearly 14 years together, the couple married in Massachusetts last year.

In two decisions issued in April and May, the court ordered the State of Indiana to recognize their out-of-state marriage. On June 25th, U.S. District Court Judge Richard L. Young ruled that Indiana’s discriminatory ban on marriage for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Two days later, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals granted Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s emergency motion to stay the freedom to marry for all Hoosiers achieved through Lambda Legal's victories in Baskin v. Bogan, and also consolidated the case with two other marriage cases in Indiana, Lee v. Abbott and Fujii v Governor.

After Attorney General Greg Zoeller attempted to block those victories, on July 1st, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order compelling the State of Indiana to continue to recognize the marriage of Lambda Legal plaintiffs Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney while the case proceeds.

Lambda Legal’s Marriage Project Director Camilla Taylor gave oral arguments to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals on August 26th, 2014 and on September 4, just nine days after oral arguments, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously struck down discriminatory marriage bans for same-sex couples in Indiana and Wisconsin.

Read the press release.