INDIANAPOLIS, April 10 (UPI) -- A federal judge issued a ruling forcing Indiana to recognize the marriage of same-sex couple Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, who were legally wed in Massachusetts, have a civil union in Illinois, have been together for 13 years, and have two children.
Quasney is terminally ill and the ruling, an emergency temporary restraining order which stands for 28 days, is meant to allow the couple access to benefits available to legally married couples in Indiana.
“Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney and their two children seek immediate relief from Indiana’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples as Ms. Quasney was diagnosed with stage IV cancer and cannot wait any longer for the protections of marriage,” according to a release from Lambda Legal issued prior to the judge's emergency ruling.
Lambda Legal is representing the couple, who are also part of a lawsuit that includes several other couples, though this emergency ruling only applies to Sandler and Quasney.
Paul Castillo, Staff Attorney for Lambda Legal, said, “Every day that Indiana denies Amy, Niki and their two children the protections of marriage is cruel and discriminatory against a family whose time together is precious. This family shouldn’t have to endure discrimination from the State of Indiana while fighting to enjoy the time they have left together as a family dealing with a terminal illness.”
According to the release the couple has been in a loving and committed relationship for 13 years, but “need their marriage to be legally recognized in Indiana to receive the protections and security that every other married family in Indiana receives. These include the ability to access federal and state safety nets for surviving spouses and their children, and the right to a death certificate that accurately reflects their marriage.”
Amy Sandler said, “I will forever be grateful for every moment I and our kids have with Niki. The need for our marriage to be recognized so that we can safeguard our family has become incredibly urgent for all of us.”