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Lambda Legal Files Emergency Motion In Indiana To Immediately Recognize Gay Couple’s Marriage

CoupleLambda Legal has filed an emergency motion with the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court to recognize the marriage of Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler while it considers District Judge Richard L. Young’s ruling striking down Indiana’s ban on gay marriage because Niki is currently battling Stage IV ovarian cancer.

Judge Young’s ruling was stayed by the 7th Circuit just days ago which brought an end to same-sex marriages that were just getting underway in the hoosier state. The stay also removed the emergency relief that was previously granted to Quasney and Sandler back in April that required the State to respect Niki and Amy’s marriage while the case, Baskin v. Bogan, proceeded through the courts. From Lambda Legal:

The emergency relief granted by the trial court is no longer in effect; the stay issued by the Appeals Court last week applies even to couples facing terminal illness, who may not live to see the conclusion of the State’s appeal.

“There is no justification whatsoever for depriving this family of the dignity, comfort, and protections of a legally recognized marriage during this already agonizingly difficult time,” said Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal. “We ask Attorney General Zoeller not to oppose this motion. This is one family in all of Indiana that is undergoing tremendous stress while they courageously fight Ms. Quasney’s stage four ovarian cancer. Their marriage doesn’t harm anyone in Indiana, it simply protects them and their children.”

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.

Previously, a gay Ohio couple’s marriage was recognized by a federal judge as one of the partners was battling terminal illness.


Federal Appeals Court Halts Indiana Gay Marriages

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The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay pending appeal of the ruling this week striking down the state's gay marriage ban placing the marriages of hundreds of gay and lesbian couples in legal limbo.

Lambda Legal responds:

“For now, same-sex couples are once again denied the freedom to marry in Indiana.  The emergency order issued by the appeals court not only puts on hold the continued issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples, but it also prevents continued recognition of the marriage of Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler, who were granted emergency relief early in the case because Niki is battling Stage IV ovarian cancer.

“Niki, Amy, and their two toddler-aged daughters need respect as a legal family during this agonizingly difficult time. It is wrong to block the marriages of all couples and it's a shameful display of cruelty towards a Niki and Amy and their two children whose marriage is vital as they battle an aggressive cancer and fight to be together. Lambda Legal will do everything in our power to win marriage for all Hoosiers.  Greg Zoeller will not have the last word, justice will.”


Friday Speed Read: Utah, Boulder, St. Louis, Indiana, Recess Appointments, Buffer Zones

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

UTAH HEADING TO SUPREME COURT NEXT: Reyes

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes issued a statement late Wednesday saying his office intends to file a petition with the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge the Tenth Circuit panel decision striking down the state’s marriage ban for same-sex couples.

BOULDER KEEPS ROLLING:

Boulder, Colorado, continued issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Thursday, even after the state attorney general said the licenses are invalid.

SPECIAL MESSAGE:

From July 1 through Labor Day, Speed Read will publish on a weekly basis. When a breaking news story is of great importance, we will get it to you as quickly as possible.

MarriagesST. LOUIS BEGINS ISSUING LICENSES:

In a move reminiscent of former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom in 2004, officials in St. Louis, Missouri, on Wednesday issued marriage licenses to four same-sex couples, in open defiance of the state’s marriage ban for same-sex couples. The ceremony for the first couple was held in Mayor Francis Slay’s office, officiated by Municipal Judge Joseph Murphy. City officials said they would use the marriages to launch a lawsuit challenging the state’s ban, according to the St. Louis Dispatch. Meanwhile, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster launched a counteroffensive, filing a lawsuit Thursday against a St. Louis County official who granted the marriage licenses.

Gay_indianaWITHOUT A STAY, INDIANA MARRIES MORE:

Federal Judge Richard Young has still not responded to Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller’s motion for an emergency stay of the June 25 ruling striking the state’s marriage ban for same-sex couples. The Indianapolis Star reported another 200 couples married in Indianapolis Thursday, along with more than 100 in other counties. Zoeller on Thursday filed an appeal with the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

RECESS APPOINTMENT CURTAILED: Supremes

The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision Thursday that narrows the opportunities for a president to make a recess appointment. Recess appointments have been a means for some presidents to get controversial nominees into office and have them confirmed later. President Clinton used a recess appointment to install gay philanthropist James Hormel as the U.S.’s first openly gay ambassador. President Obama used them twice for gay appointees in 2010 –Chai Feldblum as EEOC Commissioner and Richard Sorian as HHS Assistant Secretary. The high court’s decision, in NLRB v. Noel Canning, limits recess appointments to times when the Senate is in recess for at least 10 days. The decision was unanimous and written by Justice Stephen Breyer.

BUFFER ZONE STRUCK DOWN: J_roberts

The Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, and the National Center for Lesbian Rights submitted a brief in support of a Massachusetts law that attempted to protect women seeking abortions by creating a 35-foot setback or “buffer zone” for anti-abortion protests outside such facilities. In a unanimous decision, the Supreme Court on Thursday said such buffer zones violate the First Amendment. Chief Justice John Roberts authored the opinion, McCullen v. Coakley, noting that public sidewalks are the “traditional public fora” for “assembly, communicating thoughts be­tween citizens, and discussing public questions” and “government may not ‘selectively…shield the public from some kinds of speech on the ground that they are more offensive than others.’” Roberts’ decision characterized protesters as seeking to hand out literature and to make offers of help to women entering the clinics. But the brief from GLAD, NGLTF, and NCLR noted the buffer zones are not to stifle expression but to protect the safety of women. “Women should be free to seek comprehensive medical care—including birth control and abortion—without the fear of harassment and violence from protesters,” said NGLTF Executive Director Rea Carey.

© 2014 Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Clerk in Indiana's Marion County Wed 186 Gay Couples Yesterday, Issued 225+ Licenses: VIDEO

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Following yesterday's ruling striking down Indiana's gay marriage ban, Marion County (Indianapolis) Clerk Beth White said she would be marrying gay couples, and they came in droves.

WhiteWhite made this announcement on Facebook last night:

The last couple was married about 11PM today, capping off a day of 186 same-sex weddings (188 total couples were married as two heterosexual couples were wed today, too). The Marion County (IN) Clerk’s Office issued 250 marriage licenses, which includes same sex and opposite sex couples. Our best estimate is 20-25 heterosexual copies applies for marriage licenses today, most before this afternoon’s decision.

Marriage license services will resume at 8AM tomorrow,Thursday, June 26, and officiants will be on hand to offer civil ceremonies for a voluntary donation of $50 to the Indiana Youth Group (cash and check only). So far, about $4,000 has been raised for IYG. No decision has been made to extend office hours beyond 4:30PM tomorrow; please check Clerk's website – indy.gov/CLERK – for updates.

Have a good night!

Congrats to all the Indiana couples.

Meet the first gay couple married in Indiana (autoplay), AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Clerk in Indiana's Marion County Wed 186 Gay Couples Yesterday, Issued 225+ Licenses: VIDEO" »


Thursday Speed Read: Tenth Circuit, Utah, Colorado, Indiana, DOMA Anniversary

BY LISA KEEN / Keen News Service

TenthcircuitTENTH CIRCUIT PANEL STRIKES UTAH BAN:

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit issued a 2 to 1 decision Wednesday, upholding a district court decision that Utah’s marriage ban for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. The decision in Herbert v. Kitchen is the first from a federal appeals court on a state marriage ban since the U.S. Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Windsor. The ruling puts the Utah case closest to arriving at the U.S. Supreme Court. The majority stayed its decision pending an appeal to the high court.

COUNTY IN COLORADO RESPONDS: Boulder

Although the Tenth Circuit stayed its order finding a marriage ban for same-sex couples unconstitutional, Boulder County, Colorado, began issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples Wednesday. The Tenth Circuit includes Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wyoming.  Two lesbian couples were able to marry before the clerk’s office closed for the day, according to the Boulder Camera. But Colorado’s Republican Attorney General John Suthers issued a statement saying the marriages are invalid.

SandlerINDIANA BAN STRUCK, TOO:

For the 15th time since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in U.S. v. Windsor, a federal district court judge on Wednesday ruled that a state marriage ban for same-sex couples is unconstitutional. Judge Richard Young’s ruling on Indiana’s ban involved three consolidated lawsuits – Baskin v. Bogan, Fujii v. Pence, and Lee v. Pence. Young ruled that Indiana’s ban violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantees to equal protection and due process. “In time, Americans will look at the marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs and refer to it simply as a marriage—not a same-sex marriage,” wrote Young. These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them as such.”

ZoellerINDIANA AG SEEKS IMMEDIATE STAY:

Indiana’s Republican Attorney General Greg Zoeller filed an emergency motion seeking an immediate stay of Judge Richard Young’s ruling, striking down the state ban on same-sex couples marrying. But Young’s order enforced his decision immediately and, according to the Indianapolis Star, “hundreds” of same-sex couples rushed to courthouses within minutes after the decision was released around noon. The first same-sex couple to be married, said the Star, appears to be Craig Bowen and Jake Miller of Indianapolis. “There was a party atmosphere inside the clerk's office on Wednesday afternoon, where hundreds of people waited in line for a marriage license as [the Marion County clerk] kept the doors open until 8 p.m. to accommodate the crush.” Marion County alone issued 219 marriage licenses and conducted more than 150 marriage ceremonies before 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Scotus_edie_windsorFIRST ANNIVERSARY OF WINDSOR:

Today is the one-year anniversary of the landmark U.S. v. Windsor decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, striking down as unconstitutional the key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). It is also the tenth anniversary of the landmark Lawrence v. Texas decision, striking down laws prohibiting same-sex adults from having intimate relations. Both decisions have had enormous impact on the LGBT civil rights movement and yet both relied on just one vote.

© copyright 2014 by Keen News Service. All rights reserved.


Watch Indiana's First Gay Marriage: VIDEO

Gay_indiana

Craig Bowen and Jake Miller were wed in Indianapolis, Indiana shortly after today's ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard young striking down the state's gay marriage ban.

The Indy Star reports:

Bowen and Miller plan to celebrate their marriage with a champagne toast this afternoon. The couple met eight years ago through a mutual friend, Bowen said, gazing at Miller.

"Our parents don't know yet, so they might be a little mad at us," Miller said with a chuckle. "I sent Craig a text and said 'Hey, do you want to get married today?' "

Craig said yes, and they headed to the county clerk's office, where they were the first same-sex couple to arrive.

"I love you," Miller told Bowen after their ceremony.

Watch (autoplay, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Watch Indiana's First Gay Marriage: VIDEO" »


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