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Second gay couple facing cancer recognized

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Precedent set by the case of Niki Quasney and Amy Sandler has allowed another same sex couple to be recognized in Indiana.

U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Van Bokkelen in the Northern District of Indiana approved a request to recognize Veronica Romero and Mayra Rivera as married. The request was filed Wednesday with agreement from the state and the Lake County clerk. The judge approved the request Thursday.

Romero and Rivera have been a couple for 27 years and were legally married in Illinois back in March. Rivera was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2011.

In the agreement, the state agreed to recognize their marriage and in the event of Rivera’s death, have her listed as married and Romero as her surviving spouse. The State Department of Health, which was also listed as a defendant in the case, agreed to assist the local health department, funeral homes, physicians, and coroners in understanding their case and completing the death certificate.

The state decided not to challenge the issue in court because of the precedent set by the Quasney/Sandler case. Their marriage remains recognized thanks to an emergency order excusing them from the stay that holds Indiana’s ban on same sex marriage in place while the U.S. Supreme Court considers the issue.

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