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Indiana's Marriage Ban Struck Down!

0320 same sexToday Just hours ago, a federal judge struck down Indiana's ban on marriage for same-sex couples on the grounds that it violated due process and equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

U.S. District Judge Richard Young ruled in three lawsuits, including a case on
behalf of 13 same-sex couples brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of
Indiana, private attorney Sean Lemieux of Lemieux Law Office in Indianapolis and the National ACLU.

From the ruling: "The court has never witnessed a phenomenon throughout the federal court system as is presented with this issue. 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. 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."

From our Director, Scott Mertz, on behalf of the Northeast Indiana Diversity Library: "The NIDL congratulates the many same-sex couples who have been waiting for this day for many years as well as all those who married elsewhere and found their marriages suddenly not legal by moving to Indiana.  NIDL has documented Indiana's gay community in Northern Indiana and hopes to continue to see the State grow in acceptance and understanding in reguards to this civil rights issue."



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Freedom Indiana and HJR-6

INF org

A coalition of Indiana businesses and groups announced the formation of Freedom Indiana, a bipartisan statewide organization that opposes the amendment that would permanently alter the Indiana Constitution to define marriage and could potentially affect hundreds of rights under current Indiana law.

Marriage already is strictly defined as between a man and woman under Indiana law.

Freedom Indiana will immediately undertake a grassroots campaign focused on the 2014 legislative session, where Indiana lawmakers can choose either to table or vote down the amendment or send it to voters for a statewide referendum next November. Freedom Indiana is committed to protecting the Indiana Constitution by defeating the amendment should it appear on the ballot.

Coalition partners include Eli Lilly and Company, Cummins, Indiana Equality Action, Freedom to Marry, Gill Action, American Unity Fund, American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and Human Rights Campaign. Click on the banner above to find how you can help or more about the coalition.

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Supreme Court Strikes Down DOMA

SCOTUSThe Supreme Court on Wednesday, June 26th, struck down a key part of the Defense of Marriage Act, the 1996 law signed by President Clinton that defined marriage as between a man and a woman for the purpose of federal law.

The decision was 5-4, with the majority opinion written by Justice Anthony Kennedy — who also wrote the court’s historic gay rights decisions in Romer v. Evans and Lawrence v. Texas.  Justices Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, and John Roberts all filed dissents.  Justice Clarence Thomas joined Scalia’s dissent, and joined Alito’s in part, while Roberts joined Scalia’s in part.  Justices Elena Kagan, Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen Breyer, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg joined Kennedy’s majority opinion.

What issues did the Court have to decide on?  Three issues were focused on... the first was the equal protection issue. The second was whether the fact that the executive branch agrees with Windsor means that there isn’t a real controversy in this case, meaning the court doesn’t have jurisdiction. The third was whether BLAG (the Bipartisan Legal Advisory Group) would be harmed by DOMA being overturned, and thus whether it has standing to defend the law (a friend-of-the-court brief by Harvard professor Vicki Jackson wrote that even Congress doesn’t have standing, and even if it did, BLAG wouldn’t).

Justice Kennedy’s ruling held that the court had jurisdiction in the case, effectively ruling that there was a real controversy and that BLAG had standing to defend the law.  For Justice Kennedy, his ruling was based on his judgment that DOMA violates the equal protection clause.  Section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment states: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

At NIDL we celebrate the Court's decision but realize there will and is more work to be done in the area of equal rights.


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One Voice Indiana for LGBT Health & Nondiscrimination

OneVoiceIndiana seeks to:

1.  Educate the public and our state leaders regarding public health issues unique to the LGBT community;

2. Help Hoosiers understand the potential negative consequences of discriminatory law — such as the General Assembly’s proposed HJR-6; and,

3. Create a common site for individuals and organizations to publicly show their support for all citizens of our state — affirming LGBTQ individuals, same-sex couples, and their families.

Join Angie's list, Citizens Energy Group, The Jewish Community Relations Council, The Interfaith Coalition on Nondiscrimination, Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Mental Health America of Indiana, Lilly, Cummins, and many others in speaking with ONE LOUD AND CLEAR VOICE opposing institutionalized discrimination against our gay friends and family. Go to

To the extent that you can share this -- particularly with folks with Indiana
connections -- it will much appreciated.

Support equality for ALL Indiana citizens. Add your voice.

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Petition For The Mayors For The Freedom To Marry Pledge

Petition by Thaddeus Gerardot in Fort Wayne, IN

Currently 291 mayors from across the country have signed the Mayors for Freedom to Marry pledge. In Fort Wayne, there have been a lot of arguments lately against the freedom to marry with the proposed HJR-6 constitutional amendment. Our mayor has been a strong leader for our LGBT community. Let us show him our support and encourage him to sign the Freedom to Marry pledge.

Lately in our local media I have noticed a lot of arguments being made to justify denying gay people the right to marry. I created this petition not only to encourage the mayor to sign the Freedom to Marry pledge but also to initiate a community discussion. I know that many of our citizens support the freedom to marry, but often we do not hear that support vocalized. I will be contacting the mayors office and several community groups and leaders over the next couple weeks to get this discussion going.

Please share this petition online and tell your friends and family about it. Lets show the rest of the country and the people arguing against equality that Fort Wayne supports the Freedom to Marry.

I will keep you updated with my progress and if anyone would like to get more involved feel free to email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thank you all so much,
Thaddeus Gerardot

Sign my petition to encourage Mayor Tom Henry to join the numerous mayors from our neighboring states in signing the pledge offering equality to all of our citizens.

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