A federal judge says that the state of Indiana must recognize the same-sex marriage of a woman who is terminally ill.
Niki Quasney, who has been with her wife Amy Sandler for 13 years, is battling stage four ovarian cancer. The couple, who legally wed in Massachusetts last year, has two children, ages 3 and 1.
Lambda Legal requested that their case be heard by the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Indiana on an emergency basis, due to Quasney's health. They wanted their out-of-state marriage to be recognized in Indiana, to ensure Sandler receives an accurate death certificate, and that she and their children can access the benefits available to the surviving members of a late family member.
"We are so relieved," Quasney said Thursday. "We are so thankful that we can move forward and concentrate on being with each other. Our time together and with our daughters is the most important thing in the world to me. I look forward to the day when all couples in Indiana have the freedom to marry."
Quasney has had more than 100 tumors surgically removed since 2009 in addition to chemotherapy.
According to the Indianapolis Star, the order will last for 28 days, and a preliminary injunction hearing has been scheduled at the end of that period.
Sandler and Quasney are part of a bigger joint lawsuit, challening the state's ban on marriage equality.