Recognition of same-sex unions in Indiana
|Legal recognition of
† Not yet in effect
Indiana does not recognize same-sex unions. Same-sex marriage has also been prohibited by statute.
Indiana statute (DOMA) (SJR15, HJR7 and HJR 8) states that: "Only a marriage between one (1) man and one (1) woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Indiana. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized." This law came into effect in 2004. A law enacted in 1997 forbids the recognition of same-sex marriages established in jurisdictions outside Indiana.
A lawsuit brought in 2002 by the ACLU on behalf of 3 same-sex couples seeking marriage rights and challenging a 1986 law that limited marriages to male-female couples failed in Marion County superior court in May 2003. The judge ruled that restricting marriage to different-sex couples "promotes the state's interest in encouraging procreation to occur in a context where both biological parents are present to raise the child." Two of the couples had formed civil unions in Vermont in 2000. After that ruling was upheld by the court of appeals in January 2005, when the third couple had formed a Vermont civil union and one couple had married in Canada as well, the plaintiffs decided not to appeal to the state Supreme Court to avoid a negative outcome there that might influence other state courts.
On November 26, 2012 Indiana Equality Action published a study researched by law students from the LGBT Project at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law titled "More Than Just a Couple: 614 Reasons Why Marriage Equality Matters in Indiana." The study detailed the rights and responsibilities of civil marriage found in 614 laws in the Indiana Code. It said that these laws show that marriage discrimination in the state not only denies many legal rights to same-sex couples but also denies the public protection from conflicts of interest from activities that are prohibited for opposite-sex married couples but not for same-sex couples.
Constitutional Amendment Proposals
Since 2004, there has been an annual effort on behalf of a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage in Indiana. In 2010, the proposal passed the Senate 38-10, but the House of Representatives took no action, failing even to schedule a hearing on the legislation.
In 2011, the proposal passed the House 70-26 and the Senate 40-10. The approval of an identical amendment by both houses during the 2013-2014 legislative session is required to place the amendment on the state ballot in November 2014. In December 2012, Gov. Mitch Daniels, without taking a position on the proposed amendment, said that business leaders had expressed concern that it would restrict their policies toward same-sex couples. He said: "They wouldn't want their ability to offer benefits and that sort of thing limited. They think it's fair. They think it's important at least in case of some of their employees." On October 28, 2013, Indiana University announced its opposition to the proposed amendment. In November 2013, legislative leaders announced that the legislature would address the amendment in its next session. House Speaker Brian Bosma, a proponent of the measure, said that "This is not the most important issue facing us by far. We have to deal with the issue with dignity and respect...and bring this 12-year discussion to a conclusion."
Several polls have asked Indiana residents whether they favor or oppose a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
|WISH-TV/Ball State University||November, 2013||?||± 4.8%||38%||58%||4%|
|WPA Opinion Research||September 24–25, 2013||504||± 4.4%||62%||33%||6%|
|Bellwether Research||September 17–19, 2013||800||± 3.5%||45%||48%||7%|
|Bellwether Research||April 18–21, 2013||600||± 4%||50%||46%||7%|
|Hoosier Survey||November 12–24, 2012||?||± 4.5%||38%||54%||8%|
|Howey/DePauw Poll||October 28–30, 2012||?||± ?||48%||45%||7%|
|Greenberg Quinlan Rosner||March 10–13, 2011||?||± ?||43%||47%||7%|
- Indiana Marriage Amendment (SJR15, HJR7 and HJR 8) Frequently Asked Questions
- "Indiana defends state's ban on gay marriage". The Advocate. October 4, 2003. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- "Court rejects challenge to Indiana's gay marriage ban". The Advocate. January 21, 2005. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- "Couples won't seek appeal in Indiana gay marriage case". The Advocate. February 19, 2005. Retrieved August 20, 2013.
- Schneider, Mary Beth (November 26, 2012). "Ban on same-sex marriage in Indiana could open Pandora's box of legal challenges". Indiana Star. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- Smith, Brandon (November 26, 2012). "Report: Marriage Amendment Impacts 600 Legal Provisions". Indiana Public Media. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- Browning, Bil (January 15, 2010). "Indiana State Senate to take action on marriage amendment". Bilerico Project. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- Shella, Jim (January 28, 2010). "Gay marriage ban goes to Indiana House once again". WISH TV. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- "Marriage Discrimination Amendment Dies in State Legislature". Indiana Equality. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- Liz Thomas, "Indiana House Endorses Gay Marriage Ban," February 15, 2011, accessed August 4, 2012
- Dan Carden, "Senate OKs constitutional ban on gay marriage, civil unions," March 29, 2011, accessed August 4, 2012
- "Daniels says businesses talking gay marriage". Herald Bulletin. December 12, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
- Stokes, Kyle (October 28, 2013). "IU Opposes Amending Constitution To Ban Same-Sex Marriage". Indiana Public Media. Retrieved December 5, 2013.
- "Indiana legislative leaders break silence on same-sex marriage ban". Courier-Journal. November 18, 2013. Retrieved December 5, 2013.