Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, together 13 years and raising two daughters under the age of 3, continue their race against time.
Quasney has stage IV cancer and the couple has been leading the legal fight to have same-sex marriage recognized in their home state of Indiana.
Last Friday (28 June) they suffered a setback just days after a major triumph.
A federal judge had struck down Indiana’s gay marriage ban and hundreds of couples were married over more than two days. Then a federal appeals court put a half to the same-sex nuptials by granting an emergency motion made by the state’s attorney general Greg Zoeller.
Not only were the ceremonies stopped, but Quasney and Sandler’s marriage was no longer recognized in their state. A trial court had ordered the state to recognize the marriage while the trial proceeded.
On Monday (30 June), Lambda Legal filed papers with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals asking the court on an emergency basis to recognize the marriage during the appeal.
‘There is no justification whatsoever for depriving this family of the dignity, comfort, and protections of a legally recognized marriage during this already agonizingly difficult time,’ said Camilla Taylor, Marriage Project Director for Lambda Legal.
‘We ask Attorney General Zoeller not to oppose this motion,’ Taylor added. ‘This is one family in all of Indiana that is undergoing tremendous stress while they courageously fight Ms. Quasney’s stage four ovarian cancer. Their marriage doesn’t harm anyone in Indiana, it simply protects them and their children.’
The couple have a civil union in Illinois and were married in Massachusetts in 2013.
Quasney was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer almost five years ago and has had more than 100 tumors removed surgically in 2009 in addition to going through years of chemotherapy.