A federal judge struck down Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban Wednesday, declaring the law in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process Clause and Equal Protection Clause.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Young ruled in three cases challenging Indiana’s same-sex marriage ban.
“The court has never witnessed a phenomenon throughout the federal court system as is presented with this issue,” Young wrote. “In less than a year, every federal district court to consider the issue has reached the same conclusion in thoughtful and thorough opinions – laws prohibiting the celebration and recognition of same-sex marriages are unconstitutional. It is clear that the fundamental right to marry shall not be deprived to some individuals based solely on the person they choose to love. In time, Americans will look at the marriage of couples such as Plaintiffs, and refer to it simply as a marriage – not a same- sex marriage.”
The ruling comes a day before the one year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s sweeping 5-4 decision in U.S. v. Windsor striking down Section 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Since that decision was handed down June 26, 2013, marriage equality has not lost a single day in court. Federal courts have ruled in favor of marriage equality in Utah, Ohio, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Oregon and Wisconsin. State courts in Arkansas, New Jersey and New Mexico have also sided with marriage equality. At least one of those cases is likely destined for the U.S. Supreme Court. There are currently 19 states, plus D.C., that allow same-sex marriage and of those states that do not, all are facing legal challenges to their respective same-sex marriage bans.
“These couples, when gender and sexual orientation are taken away, are in all respects like the family down the street. The Constitution demands that we treat them as such. Today, the ‘injustice that [we] had not earlier known or understood’ ends,” Young concluded, quoting the Supreme Court’s decision last year in Windsor.