FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Mon., Oct. 6, 2014
Indianapolis – Today the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear same-sex marriage cases from Indiana and four other states, making it possible for Hoosier same-sex couples again to be married and clearing the way for same-sex marriages to become lawful in Indiana and in at least 30 other states.
American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana Legal Director Ken Falk said, "I am ecstatic that the long-promised goal of marriage equality has been fully realized. This case is over, and same-sex marriage is a reality in Indiana. This is good for Indiana. It is a great day not only for our plaintiffs and their children, but for all those who want to get married in Indiana."
On Sept. 4, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the June 25 ruling in U.S. District Court striking down the law banning marriage in Indiana for same-sex couples. The June ruling by Chief Judge Richard Young of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana struck down Indiana's ban on marriage for same-sex couples and recognition for marriages performed outside the state on the grounds that it violated due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
"Today in Indiana, once and for all, love is love and marriage is marriage, said Jane Henegar, ACLU of Indiana Executive Director. "The clear decisions by Chief Judge Young and by Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals make clear that denying the protections, benefits and dignity of marriage to same-sex couples is wrong. This is a great day for fairness and equality in Indiana; it is a great day for love and marriage."
"Today in Indiana, once and for all, love is love and marriage is marriage, said Jane Henegar, ACLU of Indiana Executive Director.
"This is a watershed moment for the entire country. We are one big step closer to the day when all same-sex couples will have the freedom to marry regardless of where they live. The time has come and the country is ready," said James Esseks, Director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project. "This is life-saving news for same-sex couples all across the country. Marriage helps families deal with times of crisis, and the Supreme Court's action today means more loving and committed couples will have access to the protections that marriage provides."
The ACLU has been working for the rights of LGBTQ people since 1936, when it brought its first gay rights case. The organization filed the first freedom-to-marry lawsuit for same-sex couples in 1970, represented Edie Windsor in her successful challenge to the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June 2013, and has filed thirteen federal marriage lawsuits on behalf of same-sex couples since then.
Kenneth Falk, Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana argued in Midori Fujii, et al. v. Indiana Governor, et al. and Lee et al. v. Pence, et al. Private attorneys Karen Celestino-Horseman, William R. Groth, Kathleen M. Sweeney and Mark W. Sniderman, and Indiana University McKinney School of Law professor Rob Katz briefed Lee v. Pence. James Esseks argued for the American Civil Liberties Union in Walker v. Wolf. The National ACLU was co-counsel in five of the seven petitions that were denied today, in cases from Indiana, Virginia, and Wisconsin.