HRC Blog

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Grants Stay To Recognize the Marriage of a Couple in Indiana

Today, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order for the Indiana to recognize the marriage of Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney. Earlier this year, Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney asked for their Massachusetts marriage to be recognized as Ms. Quasney was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and cannot wait any longer for the protections of marriage. A decision issued last week by a federal district court in Baskin v. Bogan struck down Indiana’s marriage ban as unconstitutional, but the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a stay on the decision.

From Lamda Legal's Blog:

The Seventh Circuit issued its order after Lambda Legal filed an emergency motion asking the appeals court to lift—as to Niki and Amy—the stay granted by that court last Friday, because Niki is battling Stage IV ovarian cancer, and the family needs the dignity, comfort, and protections of marriage as they fight to be together.

Paul D. Castillo, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, said:

It is time for the State of Indiana to leave Niki and Amy in peace and not subject them and their marriage to any more stress and uncertainty as this case proceeds. We’re thrilled that the court ruled in favor of this family as Niki battles stage four ovarian cancer. We will continue to fight until no family in Indiana needs to worry about their marriage being stripped away from them and all Hoosiers have the freedom to marry.

In response to the emergency motion filed by Lambda Legal on behalf of Niki and Amy, the 7th Circuit also set an expedited briefing schedule in Baskin v. Bogan, with all briefs in the case due by August 5. Arguments in the case could come as early as the end of the summer.

Baskin v. Bogan was filed on March 10, 2014 in the United States District Court in the Southern District of Indiana. Lambda Legal later filed a motion seeking immediate relief for Ms. Quasney, Ms. Sandler and their two children ages 3 and 1. Almost five years ago, Ms. Quasney was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer, having more than 100 tumors removed surgically in 2009, and has since gone through years of chemotherapy. They have a civil union in Illinois and were married in Massachusetts in 2013 but need their marriage legally recognized in Indiana to receive the full protections that every other married family in Indiana receives.

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