Indiana couples sue for civil union recognition

BY Advocate.com Editors

August 22 2002 11:00 PM ET

Three Indiana gay and lesbian couples were expected to file a lawsuit Thursday pressing the state to recognize the same-sex unions they had performed in Vermont, according to The Indianapolis Star.

"We just want to be treated like any other couple," 45-year-old Teresa Stephens said. "We expect to spend the rest of our lives together," she added, referring to her partner, Ruth Morrison, 42. The couple had previously traveled to Vermont to enter into a civil union, as had the other plaintiffs. Those unions provide the same rights, benefits, and responsibilities enjoyed by opposite-sex couples in Vermont but have no legal standing in Indiana or other states. The other plaintiffs include a gay male couple and a lesbian couple with a child.

The lawsuit, which was to be filed Thursday in Marion County superior court, names Gov. Frank O'Bannon and the clerks of Marion and Hendricks counties as defendants. County clerks issue marriage licenses.

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