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The Ban is Lifted: An Update on the Indiana Marriage Debate

It is time for another update on the Great Marriage Debate in Indiana. On June 25, 2014 a ruling by Chief Justice Richard Young of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana found the ban on same-sex marriage in Indiana unconstitutional, violating both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the 14th Amendment1.

In their arguments, the Plaintiffs (parties bringing the action) argued that the State of Indiana was impeding on their fundamental right to marry, and therefore, its laws violated the Due Process Clause.2 The Court held that the Defendants did not meet their burden in showing that the laws against same-sex marriage are closely tailored to effectuate a state interest. Here, the state interest is encouraging couples to stay together to raise children of a sexual relationship.3 The Court found no link between denying same-sex couples the right to marry and the state’s interest in encouraging couples to stay together for children of a sexual relationship.4

The Court also addressed Indiana law which denies recognition of out-of-state same-sex marriages which are valid in the state where they are solemnized.5 The Court held that Indiana cannot refuse to recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages as such refusal is in violation of the Equal Protection Clause.6

The Court noted in its Conclusion that the issue of same-sex marriage and the bans against same have been addressed by a number of states in the last several months. In each case, the federal district courts have found bans against same-sex marriage unconstitutional.7 The Court Ordered that due to the Ind. Code §31-11-1-1 violates the Constitution, same-sex couples, who otherwise qualify to marry in Indiana, have the right to marry in Indiana.8

The Office of the Indiana Attorney General has since filed an Emergency Stay of the Ruling overturning the ban and the Attorney General, and the Boone and Hamilton County Clerks have filed a notice of appeal as to the ruling.9

The marriage debate in Indiana remains in full swing, but the latest ruling has created a new chapter in this matter. We will continue to keep you updated as to the status of same-sex marriage in Indiana. We hope that this blog has been helpful in exploring the recent ruling related to same-sex marriage in Indiana. This blog is not intended as legal advice. Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. practices throughout the state of Indiana. This post was written by attorney, Jessica Keyes.

  1. See Opinion: Baskin et al. v. Bogan et al., Entry on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment
  2. Id. at 21
  3. Id. at 20
  4. Id. at 28
  5. See Ind. Code §31-11-1-1
  6. Baskin et al. v. Bogan et al., Entry on Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment at 31
  7. Id. at 31
  8. Id. at 33
  9. Odendahl, Marilyn. “Indiana attorney general appeals marriage ruling”. The Indiana Lawyer, online format. June 26, 2014.

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