On March 14, 2014, three lesbian women filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana against the State of Indiana. The plaintiffs, two of whom are married to each other, represented by private attorneys, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and asked the court ...
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On March 14, 2014, three lesbian women filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana against the State of Indiana. The plaintiffs, two of whom are married to each other, represented by private attorneys, brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and asked the court for declaratory relief and both temporary and permanent injunctive relief. They claimed that Indiana's laws prohibiting the recognition of same-sex marriage, and the manner in which those statutes have been interpreted and enforced, violate the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses because they deny plaintiffs the right to the most important relationship in life and make them second-class citizens due to the range of benefits that the legal recognition of marriage allows. In addition, one of the plaintiffs wished to obtain a legal separation from her same-sex partner and was unable to legally to do so in Indiana.
On August 19, 2014, the Court (Judge Richard L. Young) entered a judgment on both plaintiffs' and defendants' motions for summary judgment. Bowling v. Pence, 2014 WL 4104814 (S.D. Ind. Aug. 19, 2014). The court ordered defendants permanently enjoined from: denying a marriage license to same-sex applicants, enforcing the same-sex marriage ban; and to administer the same services and benefits to all married couples regardless if they are same-sex or different-sex. In an interesting turn of events, Judge Young held that Governor Pence was a proper defendant in this case (Governor Pence was dismissed from the other same-sex marriage cases). On August 20, 2014, defendants appealed to the Seventh Circuit. The Court of Appeals stayed briefing in this case pending its decision in Baskin v. Bogan (PB-IN-0005
), another same-sex marriage case from Indiana.
On September 4, 2014, the Seventh Circuit issued its opinion in Baskin v. Bogan, 766 F.3d 648 (7th Cir. 2014), holding the same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional (although staying operation of that opinion while the defendants sought review in the Supreme Court). On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court denied review, and the Seventh Circuit issued its mandate from Baskin v. Bogan. So same-sex marriage is now legal in Indiana. This case is still pending on appeal; it remains to be seen whether the State will continue to litigate. Alex Wharton - 10/12/2014