A federal judge today ordered Indiana to continue recognizing the marriage of one of the same-sex couples challenging the state’s gay marriage ban.
Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler, who were married in Massachusetts last year, are part of a lawsuit challenging the state’s marriage statute. But they also asked for emergency recognition of their marriage because Quasney is terminally ill with ovarian cancer.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young last month granted the request.
That order expired today and Young issued a second ruling, granting Quasney and Sandler a preliminary injunction that will stand until the broader case is resolved. Young says his ruling is a “best guess” on the outcome of the lawsuit and that recognizing their marriage is the only way to ease Quasney’s suffering.
Deborah Widiss, an associate professor at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, says Thursday’s ruling doesn’t change much from Young’s initial decision,
“I think he’s a little more definitive in saying that his ‘best guess’ is that the plaintiffs are likely to prevail but this is still not a definitive ruling on the larger case,” Widiss says.
The ruling only applies to Quasney and Sandler. A decision on the larger case involving other couples challenging the statute has not been made.
Representatives from Lambda Legal, the organization representing the couples, said they were relieved and happy about the ruling, while adding that they would continue to work for the recognition of all same-sex marriages.
In response to the ruling, the Attorney General’s spokesman emphasized that the case only applies to the one couple.