Terminally ill woman may get quick response on same-sex marriage in Indiana

On Monday, a terminally ill woman and her wife joined other gay couples who are suing Indiana over its ban on same-sex marriage.

Posted on April 4, 2014 at 12:15 a.m.

A terminally ill woman may find out as soon as Friday, April 4, if her marriage to another woman will be recognized in Indiana before she dies.

On Monday, Munster couple Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler joined a group of other gay couples in Indiana who are suing the state over its ban on same-sex marriage, the Associated Press reported.

However, because Quasney has stage IV ovarian cancer and will likely die in the next year, the couple requested immediate recognition of their 2013 marriage in Massachusetts, the Indianapolis Star reported.

The couple is concerned that Quasney may die if they wait for the lawsuit to take a normal course. If she dies before her marriage is recognized by the state, she would be listed as an unmarried woman on her death certificate.

A brief filed in federal court in Indianapolis said that if that happens, it will "interfere with Amy’s ability to take care of Niki’s affairs after her death, and to access the safety net generally available to a surviving spouse and a decedent’s children."

The couple has two daughters, ages 1 and 2, birthed by Sandler, the Associated Press reported. They have been together for 13 years.

However, the attorney general's office plans to defend Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage, spokesman Bryan Corbin said.

"If courts routinely grant case-by-case exceptions to statutes without legislative authority to do so, then the rule of law could be undermined; so the State, which is entitled to a defense, must urge respect for the current rule of law," Corbin said in a statement. 

Federal judge Richard Young scheduled a telephone conference for 2 p.m. Friday with the attorneys involved in the lawsuit to address, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Do you think Indiana should recognize same-sex marriage? Do you think it should make an exception for Quasney and Sandler? 

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