Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Five Suits Challenge Indiana Marriage Laws; Zoeller Prepared to Defend Laws

Five same sex couples have filed suits challenging Indiana's marriage laws; you can read profiles of the couples from the Indy Star here. The Star concludes its article noting that there have been recent successes for such suits: "Since December, federal courts have struck down state laws in Illinois, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Virginia, Tennessee, Texas and Utah banning same-sex marriages or prohibiting the recognition of similar unions performed in the more than 15 states where they are legal."

The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that State Attorney General Greg Zoeller is prepared to defend Indiana's laws and views such suits as part of the process: "There ought to be some opportunity to make sure that the Legislature has got it right -- did it violate the Constitution, did it impinge on people's civil liberties? This is part of the process to bring the courts in to review, to make sure the statutes we have in place are constitutional."

In contrast Kentucky's Attorney General Jack Conway has told Talking Points Memo that he will not defend his state's same sex marriage laws:
"I thought long and hard. I thought about the arc of history," he said. "I thought about the fact that at one time in this country we discriminated against women. At one time we discriminated against African-Americans and people of color. At one time we discriminated against those with disabilities. This is the last minority group in this country that a significant portion of our population thinks it's OK to still discriminate against in any way. And I didn't think that was right."
The Washington Post reports that seven state attorneys general have chosen not to defend their state's same sex marriage laws