LGBTI global news 24-7

Lesbian couple, one partner ill with terminal cancer, sue Indiana to have marriage recognized

Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler say they and their two children cannot wait any longer for the protections of marriage
 Amy_Sandler and Niki_Quasney
Photo: Lambda Legal

An Indiana couple is asking a federal court to order their home state of Indiana to recognize their marriage because one of them is terminally ill.

Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, together 13 years and raising two daughters under the age of 3, are in a race against time with Quasney having been diagnosed with stage IV cancer.

'I will forever be grateful for every moment I and our kids have with Niki,' Sandler said in a statement released by Lambda Legal which filed papers Monday (31 March) on behalf of the couple seeking immediate relief from Indiana's gay marriage ban.

Added Sandler: 'The need for our marriage to be recognized so that we can safeguard our family has become incredibly urgent for all of us.'

Paul Castillo, staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, said each day the couple is denied legal recognition of their marriage 'is cruel and discriminatory against a family whose time together is precious.'

'This family shouldn't have to endure discrimination from the State of Indiana while fighting to enjoy the time they have left together as a family dealing with a terminal illness,' Castillo added.

The couple have a civil union in Illinois and were married in Massachusetts in 2013.

They want their marriage to be legally recognized in Indiana, where they live, in order to receive such protections and security as the ability to access federal and state safety nets for surviving spouses and their children, and the right to a death certificate that accurately reflects married their marriage.

The couple also frequently travel far from their home to receive medical treatment after a local hospital suggested it would defer to state law to determine whether they married.

Comment on a news story