Indiana Gay-Marriage Ban Must Be Blocked, Couples Say

Indiana’s ban on gay marriage should be blocked while a suit seeking to overturn the law is pending, four couples told a U.S. judge, continuing a national push for recognition of same-sex weddings.

The couples, two seeking to wed in Indiana and two who were married out of state, sued Indiana Governor Mike Pence, a Republican, on March 7 to overturn the state’s Defense of Marriage Act, contending it is unconstitutional. Yesterday they asked U.S. District Judge Richard L. Young in New Albany, Indiana, to issue orders halting enforcement of the measure.

The law, which limits marriage to a union between a man and a woman and says same-sex marriages that are lawful elsewhere are void in Indiana, “enables and enshrines” discrimination, according to the couples’ filing.

Gay marriage is legal in 21 states plus the District of Columbia. Rulings that struck down prohibitions in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia and Michigan are on hold while those decisions are being appealed. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Denver is scheduled to hear arguments in the Utah case on April 10 and Oklahoma on April 17.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller, a Republican, said last month that he would defend the ban both at the trial level and in any ensuing appeals.

Court Papers

Bryan Corbin, a spokesman for Zoeller, today declined to comment on the bid for a court order, saying any response will come in court papers.

Plaintiffs Melissa Love and Erin Brock want permission to marry in Indiana, as do Michael Drury and Lane Stumler, according to their complaint. The other couples, Jo Ann Dale and Carol Uebelhoer, and Jennifer Redmond and Jana Kohorst, seek recognition of weddings performed in Massachusetts and New York, where same-sex marriage is legal.

“The decision in this case, and others like it, will affect the lives of Hoosiers for generations to come,” they said in court papers, using the nickname for Indiana residents.

The case is Love v. Pence, 14-cv-00015, U.S. District Court, Southern District of Indiana (New Albany).

(Corrects date of Oklahoma appeal hearing in fourth paragraph of story published April 1.)
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