Indiana paid more than $1.4 million in legal fees to the attorneys of plaintiffs in five federal court cases while defending the state's ban on same-sex marriages, reports the Indianapolis Star. After two federal rulings overturning the state's ban, the state was required to pay for the legal costs of the plaintiffs who challenged the law.
The most expensive suit was from Amy Sandler and Niki Quasney, who wanted to have their marriage recognized by the state as Quasney was dying of cancer. "If my life is cut short because of ovarian cancer, I want our children to know that their parents were treated like other married couples in their home state, and to be proud of this," Quasney told a federal court as part of the lawsuit, according to the Chicago Tribune. "I want to know what it feels like to be a legally recognized family in our community, together with Amy and our daughters."
Quasney died in February, after Indiana's ban was overturned. The state paid $650,000 to two law firms for the case.
Two of the cases regarded inheritance and pensions. The American Civil Liberties Union contributed to a case in which a widow could not make funeral decisions after her wife died because Indiana did not recognize their marriage in California, which also created an inheritance tax issue. Indiana paid roughly $160,000 in fees. Another $336,000 in fees were paid to the lawyers of four government workers who sued because the state would not recognize their spouses as beneficiaries of their pensions.
The other two cases cost Indiana $195,000 and $45,000 respectively.
A federal judge granted an emergency request of Quasney and Sandler to have their marriage recognized in April 2014. Judge Richard Young ruled that Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional last June.