Lebanon Reporter

State News

March 8, 2014

Couples want equal rights in same-sex suit

Eight plaintiffs challenge Indiana's gay marriage ban

(Continued)

Uebelhoer said it becomes even more confusing when completing hospital forms related to caring for a spouse in the home and financial medical obligations. Uebelhoer and Dale said their church is very supportive of their relationship, and the church’s minister has asked how the church can help the lawsuit.

Dale added that she becomes frustrated when public opinion merges civil marriages with religious marriages.“They are different things,” she said. “We are not talking about wanting to make a church do something it doesn’t agree with.”Dale said U.S. vs. Windsor has caused a lot of confusion for same-sex couples trying to understand what their rights are, and it’s made some in Indiana impatient with the state’s stand against gay marriage.“Right now is the time,” she said. “Let’s clear it up. Let’s get is straightened out. Let’s make sure it is the same understanding everywhere.”Lane Stumler and Michael Drury, New Albany, the only male couple among the plaintiffs, have been together for nearly 10 years and are seeking the right be wed in Indiana.“For us, it is a little debilitating to hear the legislature talk about your lives without having a voice, and that is why we are here,” Drury said.

Like Dale and Uebelhoer, Stumler said he wants to get married in his church and that the church is willing to marry the couple, but the state is preventing the ceremony.

Stumler, 66, said he is now motivated to stand up for his rights after seeing gay rights openly discussed each day in the media debating “my worth as a human being or trying to decide [if] the DNA I was born disqualifies me from being equal to everyone else.”Drury said public opinion has evolved to be more accepting of same-sex couples, and he is ready for Indiana leaders to catch up.“One of the reasons I am standing here is because someone stood up a long time ago,” he said. “And, I am hoping our kids, nieces and nephews will not have to have this debate about a right that is so fundamental.”Canon is also representing Jennifer Redmond and Jana Kohorst, Jeffersonville, who have been together for more than 15 years and were married in New York several months ago.“We want to stay in Indiana with our friends and our family, and to do so, we feel it necessary to be recognized as a married couple just like everyone else,” Redmond said.

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