An appeals court has ordered that Indiana recognise a terminally ill lesbian’s marriage, after a previous ruling stayed all same-sex marriage in the state.
Indiana first recognised the marriage of Niki Quasney – who has ovarian cancer – and Amy Sandler in May, after a judge ruled their was “no reason” to delay the recognition of their union.
On Saturday, an appeals court stayed the ruling, putting the ban on marriages back in place until the conclusion of the appeal, also stopping recognition of Sandler and Quasney’s marriage.
However, that ruling has now been partially overturned by the 7th Circuit Court of appeals, allowing the pair’s marriage to be recognised once more.
Paul D. Castillo, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, said: “It is time for the State of Indiana to leave Niki and Amy in peace and not subject them and their marriage to any more stress and uncertainty as this case proceeds.
“We’re thrilled that the court ruled in favour of this family as Niki battles stage four ovarian cancer. We will continue to fight until no family in Indiana needs to worry about their marriage being stripped away from them and all Hoosiers have the freedom to marry.”
The court also set a provisional date of August 5 to begin hearing the appeal in the wider case, with a ruling possible before the end of the summer.
Judge Young wrote in his intiail ruling: “In less than a year, every federal district court to consider the issue has reached the same conclusion in thoughtful and thorough opinions – laws prohibiting the celebration and recognition of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional.
“It is clear that the fundamental right to marry shall not be deprived to some individuals based solely on the person they choose to love.
“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.”