A federal judge this afternoon issued a temporary restraining order requiring the state of Indiana to immediately recognize the legal marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, two lesbians who were married in Massachusetts last year. Quasney has been fighting ovarian cancer for half a decade and is terminally ill. The couple has two children.
The order, from Judge Richard Young, only applies to the couple. It lasts for 28 days and ensures the couple has equal access to the rights, privileges, and benefits afforded to married couples in Indiana. For example, if Ms. Quasney dies while the order is in place, Ms. Sandler would be recognized as her legal next of kin and be able to obtain an accurate death certificate.
The couple are parties to a larger freedom-to-marry lawsuit filed last month by Lambda Legal, Baskin v. Bogan. Given Ms. Quasney's dire medical situation, Lambda Legal requested that Judge Young grant the couple relief on an emergency basis. Zack Ford of ThinkProgress reports that the rest of the case will proceed as scheduled.
According to the Indiana Star, the couple argued that their emergency request is about the human dignity of the couple and their children during an incredibly trying time, to which the state responded
...that its definition of marriage is based on protections for children who come out of unplanned pregnancies and that granting temporary restraining orders are not a matter of emotional equity but of legal rights.
So according to the state of Indiana, the purpose of marriage is to protect children who result from unintended pregnancies, so... same-gender couples can't get married? Is it just me, or does that not make sense? Then again, discrimination never does.