News (USA)

Lambda Legal files federal suit seeking marriage equality in Indiana


INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s statewide ban on same-sex marriage now faces a second challenge in a federal court.

Lambda Legal said Thursday it has a federal lawsuit on behalf of three same-sex couples who seek the freedom to marry in their home state of Indiana.

The federal lawsuit was filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of three lesbian couples from Whitestown, Chesterton and Munster.

The suit, filed on behalf of of three lesbian couples from Whitestown, Chesterton and Munster, argues that the couples’ equal protection rights are being violated because they can’t marry in Indiana and the state won’t recognize same-sex marriages performed elsewhere.

The suit was filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana; a similar lawsuit was filed last week by four couples from southern Indiana.

“Same-sex couples and their families in the Hoosier state are vulnerable every day that they are denied the freedom to marry,” said Paul Castillo, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal.

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“Many families are helped and no one is hurt when same-sex couples are treated fairly by their government. Even if couples travel out of state to marry they will still be denied any respect by the state of Indiana and there are many important federal benefits, such as Family Medical Leave, that will be denied because those benefits are based on whether or not the home state respects the marriage,” said Castillo.

As recently as last month the Indiana legislature considered a proposed state constitutional amendment that would have barred same-sex couples from marriage and civil unions. The measure was approved without the ban on civil unions, but must be approved by lawmakers during their next biennial session, 2015-16, in its current form in order to appear on the 2016 ballot.

Also on Thursday, Lambda Legal announced it has filed a similar challenge in Arizona, and the ACLU filed suit in Florida seeking recognition of legal same-sex marriages performed out-of-state.

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