Future of Marriage Equality in Indiana to Be Considered in Chicago
INDIANAPOLIS – Supporters and opponents of marriage equality in Indiana are headed to Chicago to plead their cases.
The Seventh U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on Indiana's appeal of a June ruling that struck down Indiana's same-sex marriage ban.
Kyle Megrath, marriage coordinator with Hoosiers Unite for Marriage, says momentum is building with over three dozen court cases nationwide ruling in favor of marriage equality.
"Calling these bans unconstitutional, saying that they don't respect the dignity of gay and lesbian people who are in loving and committed relationships, who want to wake up every day knowing their families are protected through marriage," he stresses.
The lawsuits to be heard Tuesday include three from Indiana and a similar lawsuit from Wisconsin.
An Indiana state statute forbids the government from recognizing or performing marriages or other forms of union between same-sex couples, and the state attorney general has said he must enforce state law.
Send-off events for the plaintiffs will be held in Indianapolis and Lafayette today, and a large rally will be held tonight in Chicago.
This year in Indiana, an effort to put a constitutional amendment excluding same-sex couples from marriage in the ballot in November failed.
Megrath says same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections offered to other legally married couples, and public opinion is shifting as more Hoosiers realize the impact the ban has on families.
"People are changing their minds every day as they hear some of the stories that these plaintiffs have about they're married out of state but their spouse can't collect the pension if something were to happen to them or having difficulty adopting children, things like that," he says.
Same-sex couples can legally wed in 19 states and the District of Columbia.