A federal appeals court on Friday
granted a stay in a lower court's order striking down Indiana's ban
on gay marriage.
U.S. District Judge Richard Young did
not stay his ruling, handed down Wednesday, which led to a rush of
gay couples to marry at county clerk offices.
judge strikes down Indiana's gay marriage ban; Weddings begin.)
The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in
Chicago put a hold on Young's order pending an appeal without
Tired of waiting on Young to act on his
stay request for a stay, Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller turned
to the appeals court.
Young had consolidated several cases,
including one ordering the state to recognize the out-of-state
marriage of a terminally ill lesbian. Niki Quasney, who married Amy
Sandler, her partner of 13 years, last year in Massachusetts, is
battling stage 4 ovarian cancer. The women want their marriage
recognized so Quasney can be listed as married on her
anticipated death certificate and Sandler listed as her surviving
“Niki, Amy, and their two
toddler-aged daughters need respect as a legal family during this
agonizingly difficult time,” said
Lambda Legal, which is representing the women. “It is wrong to
block the marriages of all couples and it's a shameful display of
cruelty towards Niki and Amy and their two children whose marriage is
vital as they battle an aggressive cancer and fight to be together.”
Wednesday's ruling was handed down on
the same day that an appeals court upheld a lower court's ruling
striking down Utah's ban and one day before the one-year anniversary
of the Supreme Court's decision striking down a key provision of the
Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
court rules Utah's gay marriage ban unconstitutional.)