INDIANAPOLIS - The debate over Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage will be taken up this week by a federal appeals court after a lower court overturned it.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is scheduled to hold a hearing on Tuesday to determine whether the measure is constitutional.
The state is appealing a ruling from earlier this summer that struck down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage.
At Life Journey Church in Indianapolis, the congregation spent Sunday praying for the plaintiffs – the same-sex couples challenging the state's ban.
"We feel called to stand up and fight for justice and fairness and equality for all Hoosier families," church members said.
The congregation filled out hearts with personalized messages and words of encouragement in support of couples like Jan and Geralyn Vandever.
"We had to travel – What? 12 hours? – to say, 'I do,' and have a license that says we're legit as far as our love for one another," Geralyn said. "And nobody can measure that as a law, per se, but it's just unfair."
Sunday was the first of several send-off events planned by the grassroots organization "Hoosiers Unite for Marriage" in the 48 hours leading up to the court hearing in Chicago.
"We know that there have been 37 other positive rulings in favor of marriage equality striking down these bands on same-sex marriages other states have, and locally and nationally that's a pretty good record," said the organization's Kyle Megrath.
Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller said lawyers for the state are preparing to defend Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage.
"That is the obligation of my office," Zoeller said. "To defend the statutes so the courts can do their job in making a decision on the legality of the state's statute dealing with marriage and any other challenges that faces our state."
The 7th Circuit Court has consolidated cases for Indiana and Wisoncin and will hear argument for both on Tuesday.
A marriage-equality send-off rally was scheduled for 9 a.m. in the City Market Plaza downtown at the corner of Market and Delaware Streets in Indianapolis.
Rain likely Wednesday night.
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