EPD Officer Involved in Lawsuit Challenging Same Sex Marriage Ban

Published 03/14 2014 06:42PM

Updated 03/14 2014 06:48PM

Two more lawsuits are filed today hat target Indiana's same sex marriage ban.  One suit involves an Evansville Police officer. She thinks marriage should be open to anyone.

Evansville Police Sgt. Karen Kajmowicz is one of eight people involved in a suit against Governor Mike Pence and the Indiana Public Retirement System. It follows three separate suits taking aim at the state's ban and how they say hurts their families.

"This has nothing to do with religious beliefs, it has nothing to do with faith," Kajmowicz says. It has everything to do with fairness for her.

"I do the same work my coworkers do and part of that is, the work we do as a public service, is a pension that we, and my family, are afforded after we leave the department," she says.

She, her spouse, and three other couples sued Pence and the  Indiana Public Retirement System, claiming the state's same sex marriage ban prevents her family from getting the same benefits as other couples.  The suit claims the ban violates the equal protection clause of the fourteenth amendment.

"I owe it to myself, I owe it to my family that they receive the pension that I've worked for my whole life," Kajmowicz says.

It follows three separate suits filed in the past week targeting the ban. Kajmowicz spoke out against HJR 3 to a house committee back in January.  She says another reason for the suit was after seeing how the spouse of another former officer didn't get full benefits after her death.

"We saw it first hand that all her co-workers would've received. And it really struck home with Tammi and I, that we couldn't let this happen," Kajmowicz adds.

The ACLU filed a separate suit today on behalf of five Indiana couples asking the state to recognize same sex marriages from out of state. We reached out to the Indiana Public Retirement System board for comment, but our calls weren't returned.

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