[JURIST] The Indiana Court of Appeals [official website] ruled Thursday that the state's constitution does not require governmental recognition of same-sex marriage. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three same sex couples who argued that law was unconstitutional because it limited the choices of homosexuals. In its opinion [text], the court wrote:
What we decide today is that the Indiana Constitution [text] does not require the governmental recognition of same-sex marriage, although the legislature is certainly free to grant such recognition or create a parallel institution under that document. Nevertheless, Indianas DOMA, Indiana Code Section 31-11-1-1, does not violate Article 1, § 23 of the Indiana Constitution because opposite-sex marriage furthers the legitimate state interest in encouraging opposite-sex couples to procreate responsibly and have and raise children within a stable environment. Regardless of whether recognizing same-sex marriage would harm this interest, neither does it further it. The ability of opposite-sex couples to reproduce "naturally" and unexpectedly is the characteristic that rationally distinguishes them from same-sex couples. For much the same reasons, Section 31-11-1-1 also does not violate Article 1, § 12 of the Indiana Constitution. Finally, the Plaintiffs have failed to establish that they enjoy a "core value" right under Article 1, § 1 of the Indiana Constitution to marry each other and receive accompanying government benefits that is materially burdened by Section 31-11-1-1, even if Article 1, § 1 is currently capable of independent judicial enforcement in this context, which is doubtful. Section 31-11-1-1 does not run afoul of the Indiana Constitution and we conclude the trial court properly dismissed the Plaintiffs' complaint because they failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted.AP has more.