Indiana recognizes 2nd same-sex marriage
By IndyStar reporter Jill Disis
The State of Indiana this week agreed to recognize the out-of-state marriage of a lesbian couple from Whiting, Ind., as the broader issue of same-sex marriage moves closer toward the U.S. Supreme Court.
Documents filed Wednesday and approved by a U.S. District Court judge Thursday say the state will agree to recognize the marriage between Veronica Romero and Mayra Yvette Rivera, who were married in Illinois last March.
The couple has been in a relationship for more than 27 years. In June 2011, Rivera learned she had ovarian cancer.
The order makes Romero and Rivera the second same-sex couple in Indiana to have their marriage recognized by the state. It closely echoes a case involving Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, a Munster couple who were married in Massachusetts last year.
Sandler and Quasney became the first — and at the time, only — legally married same-sex couple in the state in April, when a different U.S. District Court Judge granted an emergency request for recognition of their marriage. Quasney was diagnosed in 2009 with ovarian cancer and is terminally ill.
Same-sex marriage for all gay couples in Indiana was briefly legal for three days in June after a federal judge struck down the ban entirely, until the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on that ruling.
With that ruling stayed, Sandler and Quasney’s attorneys successfully asked that an exception once again be made for the couple pending the outcome of the case.
On Sept. 4, nine days after Indiana’s same-sex marriage case was heard by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court, judges upheld a lower court ruling that Indiana’s ban is unconstitutional. This week, the Supreme Court scheduled same-sex marriages from five states — including Indiana — for consideration at its Sept. 29 private conference.
The court couple agree to hear one or more cases this year, deny all of them, or put off its decision until later. All same-sex marriages performed in Indiana or elsewhere will not be recognized by the state — not including the two exceptions — until the case is resolved.
Star reporter Tim Evans contributed to this story.
Call Star reporter Jill Disis at (317) 444-6137. Follow her on Twitter: @jdisis.
Read the court document here: Same sex marriage recognition
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