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1:14-cv-00406 #43

1:14-cv-00406 #43

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Published by Equality Case Files
Doc 43 - Defendants' Answer to Complaint
Doc 43 - Defendants' Answer to Complaint

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Published by: Equality Case Files on May 24, 2014
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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF INDIANA INDIANAPOLIS DIVISION PAMELA LEE,
et al.
, ) ) Plaintiffs, ) ) v. ) Case No. 1:14-CV-406-RLY-TAB ) MIKE PENCE, in his official capacity as ) Governor of the State of Indiana,
et al.
, ) ) Defendants. )
DEFENDANTS’ ANSWER TO COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATORY AND INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
Defendants Mike Pence, Brian Abbott, Chris Atkins, Ken Cochran, Steve Daniels, Jodi Golden, Michael Pinkham, Kyle Rosebrough, Bret Swanson, and Steve Russo (“the State”), by counsel, hereby file this answer to the Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief (“the Complaint”) filed in this action by Pamela Lee, Candace Batten-Lee, Teresa Welborn, Elizabeth J. Piette, Ruth Morrison, Martha Leverett, Karen Vaughn-Kajmowicz, Tammy Vaughn-Kajmowicz, J.S.V., T.S.V, and T.R.V. (“Plaintiffs”).
INTRODUCTION
1. Plaintiffs bring this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983 to challenge the constitutionality under the United States Constitution of Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1 and its voiding of their marriages to persons of the same sex, despite plaintiffs' marriages having been lawfully entered into under the laws of a state other than Indiana. Said challenge to Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1 is both facial and as applied to plaintiffs. Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1 provides as follows:
Case 1:14-cv-00406-RLY-TAB Document 43 Filed 05/16/14 Page 1 of 22 PageID #: 310
 
2
(a) Only a female may marry a male. Only a male may marry a female. (b) A marriage between persons of the same gender is void in Indiana even if the marriage is lawful in the place where it is solemnized.
ANSWER:
 Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1 speaks for itself. The State admits that Plaintiffs seek to bring this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, but denies that Plaintiffs are entitled to any relief under that statute. 2. Indiana law provides that “[t]he validity of the marriage, being governed by the law of the place of its celebration, must be recognized in Indiana as a matter of comity.”
Gunter v. Dealer's Transport Company
, 120 Ind. App. 409; 91 N.E.2d 377, 379 (Ind. Ct. App. 1950).
ANSWER:
 
Gunter v. Dealer’s Transport Company
, 91 N.E.2d 377 (Ind. App. 1950) (en banc), speaks for itself. To the extent Plaintiffs allege that general principles of Indiana law require recognition of same-sex marriages entered into in other States, Defendants deny the allegation. 3. But under comity principles, Indiana is not required to recognize a marriage solemnized in another state if the marriage violates Indiana's public policy.
 Mason v. Mason
, 775 N.E.2d 706, 709 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002) (while marriage between first cousins under the age of 65 is void in Indiana, marriage will be recognized by Indiana if the first cousins marry in a state where such marriages are recognized, as there is no Indiana statute that articulates a public policy against the marriage of first cousins).
ANSWER:
 
 Mason v. Mason
, 775 N.E.2d 706 (Ind. Ct. App. 2002), speaks for itself. 4. Under Indiana law, the only out-of-state marriages for which there is a public  policy voiding the marriage upon returning to Indiana are those marriages between persons of the same sex and marriages entered into out of state so as to evade the prohibition of marrying while mentally incompetent, drunk or on drugs.
See
, I.C. § 31-11-8-6.
Case 1:14-cv-00406-RLY-TAB Document 43 Filed 05/16/14 Page 2 of 22 PageID #: 311
 
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ANSWER:
 Indiana Code § 31-11-8-6 speaks for itself. The State denies that Indiana law voids only same-sex marriages from other States and marriages solemnized to evade Indiana marriage laws. The State observes, for example, that Indiana Code § 31-11-8-2  prohibits polygamy, Indiana Code § 31-11-8-3 prohibits marriages to close relatives, Indiana Code § 31-11-8-5 prohibits common law marriages, and Indiana Code § 31-11-2-1 prohibits marriages of underage individuals absent parental consent or leave of court. 5. Indiana's law restricting marriage to opposite-sex couples publicly stigmatizes  persons in a same-sex marriage and sends a hideous message to their children by implying that  persons entering into same-sex marriages are equivalent to marriages entered into by the mentally incompetent, the drunk or the drugged.
ANSWER:
 Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1 and Indiana Code § 31-11-8-6 speak for themselves. The State denies any remaining allegations set forth in paragraph 5 of the Complaint. 6. Indiana’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage solemnized in another state denies plaintiffs “a dignity and status of immense import.”
United States v. Windsor 
, 133 S.Ct. 2675, 2692 (2013). Moreover, they are stigmatized and relegated to a second-class status by having their respective marriages declared void by Indiana, which suggests that their relationships are “unworthy” of recognition.
 Id 
. at 2694.
ANSWER:
 
United States v. Windsor 
, 133 S. Ct. 2675 (2013), speaks for itself. The State denies any remaining allegations set forth in paragraph 6 of the Complaint.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE
7. This Court has jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1343 because this suit raises federal questions pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Plaintiffs seek both injunctive relief and a declaratory judgment pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2201.
ANSWER:
 The State admits that the Complaint describes at least one claim over which the Court would have federal question jurisdiction and that Plaintiffs seek to bring this action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, but denies that Plaintiffs are entitled to any relief under that statute. The State denies that 42 U.S.C. § 2201 has any relevance to this
Case 1:14-cv-00406-RLY-TAB Document 43 Filed 05/16/14 Page 3 of 22 PageID #: 312

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