The Indiana state government is continuing to appeal a court order recognizing the out of state marriage of a lesbian couple granted so that a dying woman can have her wife recorded on her death certificate.
37-year-old mother of two Niki Quasney has stage IV ovarian cancer and District Court Judge Richard Young placed a temporary restraining order on the Indiana Government in April requiring it to recognize her as the spouse of wife Amy Sandler when she dies.
However the state’s Attorney General’s office is continuing to seek an appeal of the decision as the court weighs the wider issue of the legality of all same-sex marriages in Indiana.
Quasney and Sandler’s lawyers have argued that if their marriage is not recognized Sandler will have difficulty collecting Social Security and other death benefits that would automatically be awarded to a married heterosexual couple in the state when Quasney dies.
The Indiana state government contends that its ban on same-sex marriage does not allow for a hardship exemption and says the couple can safeguard Sandler’s needs via a will or by creating a trust or by transferring property to Sandler before Quasney dies.
Justice Young extended the restraining order guaranteeing Sandler’s recognition on her wife’s death certificate on Thursday and has said that he is not convinced that Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage would not be found unconstitutional in line with other state bans that have been ruled as such.
‘We are so thankful that we can move forward and concentrate on being with each other,’ Quasney said in a statement distributed by Lambda Legal.
‘Our time together and with our daughters is the most important thing in the world to me. I look forward to the day when all couples in Indiana have the freedom to marry.’