New Lawsuit Challenges Indiana Gay Marriage Ban
Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriages faced a new challenge Thursday in a federal lawsuit announced by a national gay rights group on behalf of three lesbian couples from across the state.
Lambda Legal argues in the lawsuit that the equal protection rights of the couples from Whitestown, Chesterton and Munster are being violated because they can’t marry in Indiana and the state won’t recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.
"We just want what everyone else has in Indiana - a real, honest and legal marriage," said co-plaintiff Rae Baskin of Whitestown, about 20 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Baskin, 60, and partner Esther Fuller, 78, have been together 24 years. "We are a family. Esther loves me unconditionally and I can’t imagine life without her."
The lawsuit was filed Monday in federal court in Indianapolis. A similar lawsuit was filed last week in New Albany federal court by four couples from Clark and Floyd counties.
In that case, Attorney Dan Canon said that Indiana is under leadership that says his clients do not deserve the same rights, responsibilities and privileges provided to opposite-sex couples, simple because they are in a same-sex relationships. Canon and his eight clients are taking aim at the Indiana statute that reads, "Only a female may marry a male. Only a male may marry a female. A marriage between persons of the same gender is void in Indiana even if the marriage is lawful in the place where it is solemnized."
Canon said that the U.S. Supreme Court, through United States vs. Windsor, ruled last year that it is unconstitutional to treat homosexual partnerships differently than heterosexual couples.