I hope you all had a fantastic Fourth of July weekend!
As we continue to enjoy the right to marry in California, I'd like to recognize a couple in my home state of Indiana who are leading the charge for equal rights there. Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney have a civil union in Illinois and were married in Massachusetts in 2013. Five years ago, Ms. Quasney was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. They need their marriage legally recognized in Indiana to receive the full protections that every other married family in Indiana receives.
On June 25th, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana found Indiana's ban on gay marriage to be unconstitutional. However, on June 27th, at the Attorney General's request, the 7th Circuit issued an emergency order stopping gay marriages in the state. Based on the gravity of Ms. Sandler and Ms. Quasney's circumstances, Lambda Legal's request for the 7th Circuit to lift the stay as to only Ms. Sandler and Ms. Quasney's marriage was granted July 1st. I cannot imagine the emotional toll this back-and-forth takes on a family with two small children who are simultaneously dealing with stage four cancer.
While I'm grateful that the limited stay will afford Ms. Sandler and Ms. Quasney some peace so they can continue to focus their energies on their family during this difficult time, I hope that no other Indiana families will have to struggle in the same manner to achieve the simple act of having one's death certificate accurately recognize the surviving partner as the deceased's spouse.
BALIF Board Membership Chair