Four Indiana couples filing federal lawsuit to recognize same-se - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Four Indiana couples filing federal lawsuit to recognize same-sex marriages

Posted: Updated:
Jo Ann Dale and Carol Uebelhoer Jo Ann Dale and Carol Uebelhoer
Jennifer Redmond and Jana Kohorst Jennifer Redmond and Jana Kohorst
Dan Canon Dan Canon
Erin Brock and Melissa Love Erin Brock and Melissa Love
Lane Stumler and Michael Drury Lane Stumler and Michael Drury

LOUISIVLLE, KY (WAVE) - Just two days after Kentucky's governor announced plans to hire outside lawyers to appeal a decision granting recognition to gay couples married in other states, a Louisville law firm has filed a federal suit.

Attorneys with Louisville-based Clay Daniel Walton & Adams law firm filed the federal lawsuit in the New Albany Division of the Southern District of Indiana United States District Court on behalf of four same-sex Indiana couples whose out-of-state marriage licenses or pending nuptials are not being recognized by the Hoosier state.

"We have been together, committed to each other for 35 years," said Jo Ann Dale.

Thirty years after falling in love with her perfect match, Dale tied the knot in 2009.

"I love Carol," said Dale. "There is no way that I could love her more if one of us were male."

Dale married Carol Uebelhoer in Massachusetts five years ago, but their marriage is not recognized in their home state of Indiana. They are just one of four Hoosier couples having filed federal suit with the help of five Clay Daniel Walton & Adams attorneys.

"We're asking the Indiana federal court to recognize what every other court in the country has recognized so far," said attorney Dan Canon.

He and other members of the firm argued the state of Indiana's refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples and also its refusal to recognize same-sex marriages entered in other states violated a Supreme Court ruling.

"Every court to decide this case since the Windsor opinion has said that same-sex couples cannot be constitutionally treated differently from opposite-sex couples simply because they're same sex couples," said Canon.

Indiana resident Melissa Love also filed suit. Love, who is engaged to Erin Brock, wanted to be wed in her hometown of Jeffersonville to secure health benefits offered to legally married couples.

"I want to know if something happens to me that Erin and the kids are going to be okay," said Love.

"We are not worried but we want to get married," said Michael Drury, a New Albany resident filing suit.

For Drury and his partner, Lane Stumler, fighting to tie the knot after 10 years was about taking a stand.

"Perfect strangers are debating my worth as a human being," said Stumler.

"To hear the legislature talk about your lives without having a voice," said Drury, "that's why we're here."

Legally married in New York last fall, Jana Kohorst and Jennifer Redmond, like the others, filed suit hoping to have their union legally recognized in the Hoosier state they call home.

It's a mission the group and their attorneys will now take to Indiana Governor Michael Pence who will have 21 days to answer to the group's complaint.

"We in Indiana want our answer now," said Dale.

While attorneys said they had no idea when a ruling may come down, they intended to ask for immediate preliminary injunctive relief so that the Brock and Love, as well as Drury and Stumler could be issued Indiana marriage licenses immediately.

Copyright 2014 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved. 

Powered by WorldNow