News & Commentary written by Rob MacPherson and Steven Stolen

Back to News & Commentary

Rob MacPherson and Steven Stolen


Rob MacPherson and Steven Stolen, who reside in Indianapolis, have been a committed and loving couple for more than 25 years. They were married in California in 2008. An arts advocate and professional singer, Steven was a college professor for 20 years and is currently the Regional Director for Rocketship Indiana, a charter school management association. Rob is Vice President for Development and Philanthropic Services with the Central Indiana Community Foundation, where he directs the Foundation’s asset development strategies and donor services activities. The couple has a 15 year-old daughter.

Rob and Steven recognize that there are many tangible benefits bestowed under Indiana law to married persons, but these are denied to them and to their child. Their daughter is aware that her parents’ marriage is not recognized by the State, and this causes her concern as she does not view her parents any differently than those of her friends who have opposite-sex married parents. Yet, she is acutely aware that the State treats her parents and her differently.

Because their marriage is not recognized by the State, Rob and Steven have to deny their status as married people when they pay their state taxes, even though the federal government now recognizes them as married. The couple is denied the many benefits of marriage, such as home ownership and decision-making rights during a medical emergency, and they have gone to considerable expense to have documents drawn up by attorneys to give them the same rights they would enjoy as a married couple.