The marriage of a gay couple in the state of Indiana will be recognised following an emergency request due to terminal illness.

US District Judge Richard Young in Evansville, today heard arguments in the case over whether to grant the restraining order to the couple, as one of them is likely to die of ovarian cancer.

The 28-day restraining order will be reviewed at another hearing.

The couple, Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney married in Massachusetts, and who live in Munster, requested that the state immediately recognise their marriage.

Their case is one of five in the same federal court challenging Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Quasney has ovarian cancer, was diagnosed in 2009, and the couple hope to be able to access state and federal help for surviving spouses and children.