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1:14-cv-00355 #79

1:14-cv-00355 #79

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Published by Equality Case Files
Doc 79 - Defendants' Answer to First Amended Complaint
Doc 79 - Defendants' Answer to First Amended Complaint

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Published by: Equality Case Files on May 23, 2014
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05/29/2014

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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA INDIANAPOLIS DIVISION MARILYN RAE BASKIN,
et al.
, ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) v. ) Case No. 1:14-cv-00355-RLY-TAB ) PENNY BOGAN, in her official capacity as ) BOONE COUNTY CLERK,
et al.
, ) ) Defendants. )
DEFENDANTS’ ANSWER TO FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
Defendants Greg Zoeller, William C. VanNess II, M.D., Penny Bogan, Peggy Beaver, and Mike Brown, by counsel, hereby file this answer to the First Amended Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (“the Complaint”) filed in this action by Plaintiffs Marilyn Rae Baskin, Esther Fuller, Bonnie Everly, Linda Judkins, Dawn Carver, Pamela Eanes, Henry Greene, Glenn Funkhouser, C.A.G., Nikole Quasney, Amy Sandler, A.Q.-S., and M.Q.-S.
INTRODUCTION
1. Plaintiffs, all Indiana residents, comprise five loving, committed same-sex couples (“adult Plaintiffs” or “Plaintiff couples”) and three minor children of two of the couples. All Plaintiffs bring this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 seeking declaratory and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief for Defendants’ violation of Plaintiffs’ rights — the guarantees of liberty and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution — caused by the discriminatory exclusion of same-sex couples from the freedom to marry and the discriminatory denial of recognition of marriages lawfully entered by same-sex
Case 1:14-cv-00355-RLY-TAB Document 79 Filed 05/22/14 Page 1 of 47 PageID #: 1018
 
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couples in other jurisdictions pursuant to the laws of the State of Indiana (“State”). See Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1.
ANSWER:
 Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1 speaks for itself. The Defendants admit that Plaintiffs are five same-sex couples and three minor children of two of the couples. The Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth of any personal information with respect to any of the Plaintiffs. The Defendants admit that Plaintiffs seek declaratory and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, but deny that Plaintiffs are entitled to any relief under that statute. The Defendants deny any remaining allegations set forth in paragraph 1 of the Complaint. 2. Marriage plays a unique role in society as the universally recognized and celebrated hallmark of a couple’s commitment to build family life together. It confers upon couples a dignity and status of immense import. The adult Plaintiffs have formed committed, enduring bonds equally worthy of the respect afforded by the State to different-sex couples through marriage. Yet, the State, without any adequate justification, has enacted, interpreted, and enforced its laws in ways that single out lesbian and gay couples in Indiana by excluding them from the freedom to marry and by refusing to recognize and respect lawful marriages from other  jurisdictions, based solely on their sexual orientation and their sex.
ANSWER:
 The Defendants deny the allegations set forth in paragraph 2 of the Complaint because they are vague and ambiguous. 3. Through Defendants’ adherence to and enforcement of Indiana Code Section 31-11-1-1 and their interpretation and enforcement of the State’s other laws to preclude same-sex couples from marrying or having their marriages lawfully entered into other jurisdictions recognized in Indiana, the State and Defendants send a message that lesbians, gay men, and their children are second-class citizens who are undeserving of the legal sanction, respect, protections, and support that different-sex couples and their children receive automatically through marriage. This discrimination (referred to herein as the State’s “marriage ban”) is established in the State’s
Case 1:14-cv-00355-RLY-TAB Document 79 Filed 05/22/14 Page 2 of 47 PageID #: 1019
 
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statutes, which prevent same sex couples from entering into a civil marriage in the State and  prohibits the State from honoring a civil marriage validly entered by a same-sex couple in another jurisdiction.
ANSWER:
 Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1 speaks for itself. The Defendants deny any remaining allegations set forth in paragraph 3 of the Complaint. 4. The marriage ban inflicts serious and irreparable harm on same-sex couples and their children. Plaintiffs Marilyn Rae (“Rae”) Baskin and Esther Fuller, Bonnie Everly and Linda (“Lyn”) Judkins, Dawn Carver and Pamela (“Pam”) Eanes, and Henry Greene and Glenn Funkhouser are not married. They seek the freedom to marry the one unique and irreplaceable  person each loves, and thereby to assume the responsibilities and obtain the myriad protections, obligations, and benefits conferred upon married couples under state and federal law. Plaintiffs  Nikole Quasney and Amy Sandler married in another jurisdiction, but are treated as legal strangers in the state they call home — a hurtful invalidation of their relationship, which deprives them of the protections that a legally-recognized marriage most securely provides. Plaintiffs C.A.G., A.Q.-S., and M.Q.-S. (“child Plaintiffs”) seek the protections, security, support, and  benefits conferred upon the children of married parents, and to end the stigma, shame, and humiliation imposed upon children of lesbian and gay parents by the law’s refusal to permit them to belong to families with married parents and designation of their families as inferior to others and unworthy of marriage.
ANSWER:
 The Defendants are without knowledge or information sufficient to form a  belief as to the marital status of Marilyn Rae Baskin, Esther Fuller, Bonnie Everly, Linda Judkins, Dawn Carver, Pamela Eanes, Henry Greene, and Glenn Funkhouser. The Defendants admit that Nikole Quasney and Amy Sandler married in another jurisdiction. The Defendants admit that the unmarried Plaintiff couples seek the right to marry in Indiana, the married Plaintiff couple seeks recognition of their marriage by Indiana, and the child Plaintiffs seek benefits that accrue to children of couples recognized as married
Case 1:14-cv-00355-RLY-TAB Document 79 Filed 05/22/14 Page 3 of 47 PageID #: 1020

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