Supporters see off gay couples leaving for court hearing

INDIANAPOLIS - Gay couples heading to Chicago to challenge Indiana's same-sex marriage ban told supporters Monday that they believe they are on the right side of history.

Nearly 100 supporters at a rally sponsored by Hoosiers Unite for Marriage gathered at the City Market in downtown Indianapolis to wave off the four couples as they left to attend legal arguments before a federal appeals court on Tuesday.

The couples planned to attend other rallies in support of same-sex-marriage along the way in Lafayette, Munster and Chicago and said they hoped supporters and plaintiffs would join their convoy en route.

Henry Greene, 48, of Carmel, said he believes same-sex marriage will eventually be legal in all 50 states as more and more bans cave in under federal court rulings that find them unconstitutional.

"We're pretty confident in the final outcome," Greene said before the rally, which he attended with his partner of 23 years, Glenn Funkhouser, and their 12-year-old son, Casey Greene. "It's playing out pretty much like all the experts said it would."

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago was scheduled to hear arguments in a combined appeal by Indiana and Wisconsin officials of federal district court rulings striking down each state's ban on same-sex marriage. Both of those rulings are on hold until legal proceedings -- which could go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court -- are complete.

Gay marriage proponents have won more than 20 legal decisions against same-sex marriage restrictions since the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated the federal Defense of Marriage Act last year.

Even if somehow the 7th District rules against them, 44-year-old Tara Betterman-Layne said, she believes history is on the side of the gay couples. "Even if it's not the outcome, what we think is it's only a matter of time because of the way the tide of history is moving."

Betterman-Layne and her wife, Melody Betterman-Layne, 37, got married two years ago on a hilltop in Central Park in New York. They have two children.

"In the end, I think right's going to out," Melody said.

For Funkhouser, 51, and Greene, as for many other couples, legalizing gay unions has more practical impact than a marriage certificate. Without legal same-sex marriage, their son could lose out on death benefits and could face burdensome taxes when they die, the men said.

"We don't want Casey growing up in a state that says his family is not legal," Greene said.
 

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