INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The ACLU filed a lawsuit Friday morning against the state of Indiana. The lawsuit asks for marriage equality and that Indiana recognizes same-sex unions that were conducted in other states.
The battle over same sex marriage has been going on at the statehouse for more than a decade. Friday’s filing is in the hopes of bringing it to a close. As one of the plaintiff’s said, “enough’s, enough.” They’re ready to make equality a reality.
“I remember the day I saw him and knew he would be in my life forever,” said Rob MacPherson of his partner Steven.
MacPherson and Steven Stolen have been together for 27 years. They were married in California in 2008 and have a 15-year-old daughter.
“We are a family. We get up in the morning, pack a lunch, get the kid to school, go to work, figure out who’s going to pick her up,” said Stolen.
What the men and women present Friday want is to be recognized as a family in the state of Indiana. Melody Layne and Tara Betterman married in New York City’s Central Park. They have a 5-year-old daughter together.
Scott Moubray-Carrico and his partner also married out of state and have a 6-year-old son.
“We’re here because we don’t want to move to California. We got married in California. We want to live in Indiana because this is our home,” said Moubray-Carrico.
The federal lawsuit filed Friday morning hopes to force Indiana to overturn the law banning gay marriage and to recognize unions that happened out of state.
“It’s less about fighting a fight and more about trying to do the right thing,” said Stolen.
Although Indiana does recognize civil unions, benefits like inheritance, rights of survivorship and tax filings are still issues. The men and women present Friday say, they just want to be treated fairly.
Greg Hasty and his partner C.J., have been together for eight years. They were engaged two years ago and are waiting to exchange vows until Indiana legalizes gay marriage. Hasty says that’s because Indiana is where they’re from, so it’s where they want to stay and it’s where they want to display their commitment to one another.
“There’s civil cases – there’s all kinds of words that we use ‘civil’ in but we really only use marriage for one thing don’t we? It’s to describe the love and commitment of two people who want to share their lives together. Which is exactly what we want to do,” said Hasty.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller says he will be defending the state in this lawsuit. In a statement released Thursday he said:
When plaintiffs who disagree with an Indiana statute file a challenge in court, I have a duty as Indiana’s Attorney General to defend our state and the statute the Legislature passed to the best of my skill and ability — and will do so here, both now and on any appeal. Though such cases elicit strong opinions on both sides, Hoosiers should maintain civility and respect toward each other while the court does its work
ACLU legal counsel says the state has 21 days to answer. That may be extended, but the ACLU hopes this case can go forward as quickly as possible.