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U.S. District Court Strikes Down Indiana’s Ban On Same-Sex Marriage



On June 25, 2014, U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled that Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  Judge Young’s decision in Baskin et al v. Hogan et al can be found here. Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has requested a stay of Judge Young’s decision pending an appeal. In the meantime, local Indiana courts have starting issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.


Unless Judge Young’s decision is stayed or overturned on appeal, Indiana employers will likely need to immediately recognize their employees’ same-sex marriages. As discussed in our earlier blog postthe U.S. Department of Labor has already issued proposed regulations that would require employers in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages to grant benefits under the FMLA to these couples.


Employers with religious objections to this decision will be carefully watching the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case, which is expected on June 30. That decision will address whether for-profit businesses can raise religious exemptions to the Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act’s Contraceptive Mandate.  If the Court confirms that for-profit businesses have a constitutional right to the free exercise of religion, such employers could assert religious objections to other laws, including those dealing with same-sex marriage.



Mark Scudder

Mark D. Scudder is an of counsel member of Barnes & Thornburg LLP's Labor and Employment Law Department in the Fort Wayne, Indiana, office. Mr. Scudder’s practice covers virtually all areas of labor and employment law, including litigation concerning discriminatory practices, worker’s compensation benefits, collective bargaining agreement administration, and grievance and arbitration proceedings. He has represented clients in state and federal courts at all stages of litigation, from pre-litigation counseling, alternative dispute resolution, trial and appeal.

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