Rob MacPherson and Steven Stolen, who reside in Indianapolis, have been a committed and loving couple for more than 25 years. They were married in California in 2008. An arts advocate and professional singer, Stolen was a college professor for 20 years and is currently the Regional Director for Rocketship Indiana, a charter school management association. Macpherson is the Vice President for Development and Philanthropic Services with the Central Indiana Community Foundation, where he directs the Foundation's asset development strategies and donor services activities. The couple has a 15-year-old daughter.
Because their marriage is not recognized by the State of Indiana, MacPherson and Stolen have to deny their married status when they pay their state taxes, even though the federal government now recognizes them as married.
MacPherson and Stolen recognize that the many tangible benefits bestowed under Indiana law to married persons are denied to them and to their child, such as home ownership and decision-making rights during a medical emergency. They have gone to considerable expense to have documents drawn up by attorneys to give them the same rights they would enjoy as a married couple.
The fact that Indiana does not recognize their marriage affects the entire family. While their daughter does not view her parents any differently than those of her friends with opposite-sex married parents, she is acutely aware that the State treats her parents and her differently.
In March 2014, the ACLU of Indiana, along with attorney Sean Lemieux of the Lemieux Law Office in Indianapolis and the national ACLU, filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge Indiana state law banning same-sex marriage, Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1, saying the law violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The lawsuit, Midori Fujii, et al. v. Indiana Governor, et al., was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana on behalf of 13 plaintiffs, and is currently pending. The suit seeks to stop the state from enforcing this discriminatory law, to require the state to recognize marriages that have taken place outside of Indiana and to allow same-sex couples to wed in Indiana.
We are in the midst of an astounding point in history when Americans from coast to coast are realizing that all loving and committed couples deserve the freedom to marry.
Read the stories of the other plaintiffs in this lawsuit to bring marriage equality to Indiana: