A federal appeals court has ordered that the state of Indiana must recognize the marriage, performed out of state, of Amy Sandler and Nikole Quasney. The two were married in Massachusetts last year. Quasney has been battling stage four ovarian cancer since 2009.
Earlier, in April and May, a federal trial court judge had issued a temporary restraining order and then a preliminary injunction ordering the recognition of the couple’s marriage. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller and state officials are appealing that ruling to the 7th Circuit.
Although the 7th Circuit is considering the various marriage and marriage recognition cases together on appeal, Sandler and Quasner asked the 7th Circuit to lift the stay just as to them because of Quasney’s illness. Earlier Tuesday, Zoeller’s office filed a response opposing the emergency request to recognize the couple’s marriage, but issued a statement asking the court to issue relief to the couple if the court could do so.
“The State has extensively researched this matter and sincerely wishes it found a provision within our State’s statutes that would allow for some extraordinary relief, or humanitarian exception to the rule of law that would grant what petitioners request,” Zoeller said in the statement. “If this Court can find an exception that would apply, this circumstance surely warrants its use.”