LGBT Rights

The American Civil Liberties Union has been a leader in defending the rights of lesbians and gays since the 1930s.

 

In Indiana, the ACLU of Indiana, as part of the Freedom Indiana coalition, helped lead the fight against amending our state’s constitution to ban gay marriage.

 

When the Indiana General Assembly adjourned on March 13, 2014, we and our coalition partners celebrated success in assuring liberty for all Hoosiers by keeping the amendment, known as HJR-3, off the ballot in 2014.

 

The following day, on March 14, we filed a lawsuit on behalf of 13 plaintiffs challenging the state's marriage law, thus continuing our long record of fighting for fairness and equality for all in Indiana.

 

Read the story of Midori Fujii at the ACLU's Blog of Rights

 

ACLU of Indiana Challenges State’s Marriage Law

On Friday, March 14, 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, along with attorney Sean Lemieux of the Lemieux Law Office in Indianapolis and the national ACLU filed a lawsuit in federal court to challenge Indiana Code § 31-11-1-1, the state statute limiting marriage to between one man and one woman, saying the law violates the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

 

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Midori Fujii and 12 other plaintiffs, including two children, who have suffered similar indignities and discrimination because Indiana does not permit marriage for same-sex couples or recognize marriages conducted outside of the state. The suit seeks to stop the state from enforcing this law, to require the state to recognize marriages that have taken place outside of Indiana and to allow same-sex couples to wed in Indiana. Click here to read more about the lawsuit and learn about the families who are challenging the law.

Attorneys and plaintiffs in the lawsuit talk with members of the media

Attorneys and plaintiffs at the ACLU of Indiana discuss the lawsuit on March 14: L-R (back): Plaintiffs Scott Moubray-Carrico; Rob MacPherson and Steven Stolen; Greg Hasty; Melody Layne and Tara Betterman. L-R (front); ACLU of Indiana Staff Attorney Gavin M. Rose; ACLU of Indiana Legal Director Kenneth J. Falk; and Sean Lemieux of Lemieux Law Office in Indianapolis.


Indiana Youth Group Specialty License Plate

 

On June 28, 2013, the ACLU of Indiana received word of a victory in our case for the Indiana Youth Group’s specialty license plate! Click here to read the news release.

Indiana Youth Group's THX U ACLU license plate


U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA


On June 26, 2013, in an ACLU case, Windsor v. United States, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal “Defense of Marriage Act,” or DOMA. The Court ruled on equal protection grounds under the Fourteenth Amendment. Sweeping language in the 5-4 opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy recognized the dignity and rights of same-sex couples. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia and Samuel Alito dissented. DOMA had said that even when a lesbian or gay couple is legally married under state law, the federal government has to treat them as unmarried and cannot grant them benefits given to married individuals. The ruling will have an immediate impact on immigrants awaiting green-card status, military veterans and many others. The Court also struck down California’s ban on gay marriage, known as Proposition 8, which will clear the way for same-sex marriage to resume in that state. How will DOMA affect YOU? Click here for more info.