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How Judge’s Order Could Affect Other Same-Sex Marriage Cases


Photo: Bloomsberries (Flickr)

Judge Richard Young is presiding over all five cases involving challenges to Indiana's marriage laws.

A judge’s reasoning for ordering Indiana to recognize one couple’s same-sex marriage could indicate how he’s likely to rule on other pending same-sex marriage cases.

Judge Young, who has been assigned all five cases challenging Indiana’s marriage laws, ordered earlier this month that the state recognize the out-of-state marriage of a same-sex couple—one of whom is terminally ill. The judge said not recognizing their marriage could cause irreparable harm.

The Attorney General’s office argued that it was in the state’s interest to protect marriages where the couples can procreate.

Judge Young’s written order, which was just recently published, calls that argument “insufficient evidence of a legitimate state interest” to justify singling out same-sex married couples.

Lambda Legal attorney Paul Castillo, who is representing several same-sex couples in another Indiana case, says the judge’s order also notes that the state’s arguments are no different from any other of the recent cases where courts have ruled the state statutes banning same-sex marriage unconstitutional.

“So it certainly does bode well in terms of the optimism we have moving forward,” Castillo says.

The attorney general’s spokesman, declined an interview but reiterated that the court order is narrow in scope—it only applies to the two plaintiffs.

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