UNTIL DEATH...

Deadly IN Stage Collapse Could Have One Potential Upside

The horrifying stage collapse at the Indiana State Fair that killed four people and injuring 45 others may have a grim silver lining. Lesbian spouse Tammy VanDam died in the collapse and now her wife Beth Urschel is among those suing the state. But collecting her part of a $50 million settlement will also challenge the state’s marriage inequality laws and force the courts to reckon with its treatment of same-sex spouses. While Indiana has no constitutional ban on marriage equality, its statutes only recognize marriages between a man and a woman and deny recognition of other legal arrangements that are “substantially similar to that of marriage.” Yes, but for how long?

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6 Comments

  • dan4

    “potential upside?”

    Seven people have died so far. It’s tragic that you would politicize their deaths.

  • shunpo765

    I am with dan4 on this one. There is absolutely no upside to this event. So everyone is aware here; the death toll is now 7. People are still in critical condition following the stage collapse. It is entirely possible the death toll will not stop at 7. It’s disgusting to use this as a platform for political reform.

  • Conrad

    I think this could have been framed a little better, like, “How will spouse of lesbian collect settlement money when the state doesn’t allow same-sex marriage?” But I don’t think it should ever be referred to as a “silver lining,” Daniel.

  • Matt D.

    @Conrad: Merriam-Webster definition of silver lining: “Something good that can be found in a bad situation.”

    If you object to Daniel calling something like this a silver lining, then you don’t understand the term.

  • Luke

    So distasteful, so unsurprising.

  • William

    I agree that same-sex partners should have the same legal recognition and rights that opposite-sex partners have. I object, however, to the notion that anyone has any standing in a lawsuit against the Indiana State Fair over this tragic accident. All reports show that efforts were made by the State of Indiana to prevent it, including staying in contact with national weather monitoring authorities. Engaging in this kind of lawsuit over this incident cheapens the lives cost in the accident. The lesbian trying to engage in it cheapens LGBT causes.

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