March 14, 2014
Lambda Legal has filed a lawsuit in federal court in Indiana challenging the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. The suit was filed on behalf of three same-sex couples, who allege that the ban violates the federal Constitution’s Equal Protection and Due Process principles:
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.
“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.
Lambda Legal’s press release on the filing is here.
This is the second lawsuit filed in Indiana, a state that only has a statutory ban on same-sex marriage. The earlier challenge received some criticism because it was filed by groups outside the state, and no input was sought from Indiana’s LGBT groups.
The complaint in the Lambda Legal case can be read here. The case is called Baskin v. Bogan.