- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 20, 2005

An Indiana appellate court yesterday ruled unanimously that homosexual couples do not have the right to “marry” in that state.

“What we decide today is that the Indiana Constitution 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,” Indiana Court of Appeals Judge Michael Barnes wrote.

The court explained that Indiana supports “opposite-sex marriage” because there is a “legitimate state interest” in encouraging these couples to “procreate responsibly and have and raise children within a stable environment.”

“The ability of opposite-sex couples to reproduce ‘naturally’ and unexpectedly is the characteristic that rationally distinguishes them from same-sex couples,” the court said. “Regardless of whether recognizing same-sex marriage would harm this interest, neither does it further it,” it added.

Ken Falk, a lawyer with the Indiana Civil Liberties Union, which brought the case on behalf of three homosexual couples, told the Associated Press he did not know whether they would appeal yesterday’s decision.

The three couples sued Indiana after county clerks refused to issue them marriage licenses. A trial court dismissed their lawsuit in May 2003, saying that Indiana law clearly defined marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Yesterday’s decision upheld that ruling.

The Indiana decision marks the third time this week that homosexual “marriage” lawsuits have suffered a defeat in court.

On Wednesday, the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld that state’s newly passed constitutional marriage amendment, which says only unions of one man and one woman can be recognized as marriages.

Also on Wednesday, a federal court judge in Tampa, Fla., dismissed a lawsuit filed by a lesbian couple against the 1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).

The lesbian couple, who “married” in Massachusetts last summer under that state’s new court-ordered law, argued that DOMA was unconstitutional because it prohibited Florida from recognizing their Massachusetts “marriage.”

U.S. District Court Judge James S. Moody Jr. upheld DOMA, which says states do not have to recognize out-of-state same-sex “marriages.”

Florida lawyer Ellis Rubin, who represented the two women, said, “[W]e are not giving up.”

Traditional values groups cheered yesterday’s ruling.

“Today was the third strike in a row for same-sex marriage advocates trying to force their will upon the rest of America through the courts,” said Glen Lavy of the Alliance Defense Fund, which supported Indiana in the lawsuit.

Homosexual rights groups, meanwhile, are hoping to achieve more Massachusetts-style court victories in any of several states, including New Jersey, California, Washington and Connecticut.

Recently, 22 homosexual rights groups issued a joint statement restating their commitment to homosexual rights issues, including “the freedom to marry.”

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