Attorneys, supporters head to Chicago for same-sex marriage arguments

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CHICAGO (Aug. 25, 2014)– Supporters of marriage equality gathered in the Windy City for a rally on Monday evening ahead of this week’s hearing in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

“We feel like we are on the right side of history,” said plaintiff Tara Betterman-Layne.  “We feel like the country is making a turn.”

Monday’s rally included plaintiffs, faith leaders and marriage equality supporters from Indiana and Wisconsin, many arriving in bus caravans, as well as marriage equality advocates from Illinois who want to express their support for same-sex couples in neighboring states.

On Tuesday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago will hear oral arguments in two marriage cases – one from Wisconsin and a consolidated set of cases from Indiana.

The court had originally set an Aug. 13 court date for the hearing but canceled those proceedings.

On Wednesday, June 25, 2014, U.S. District Judge Richard Young overturned the state’s ban on same-sex marriage, setting off a flurry of marriages around the state. Those marriages were brought to a halt after the appeals court stayed that ruling on Friday, June 27.

Gov. Mike Pence’s office later issued a memo telling state agencies not to recognize the marriages.

“Obviously we’re hoping this issue is resolved quickly and permanently,” said Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller in an interview with FOX59 last month. “I think it`s unfortunate people are in this legal limbo that’s why it’s so important we hurry these cases through the process (and) get back to the Supreme Court where we`ll get a definitive answer.”

Zoeller had asked the entire ten-judge panel to hear the Indiana & Wisconsin cases, but the court denied that request. Instead, three judges will hear the case, which is standard procedure for the court of appeals. Attorneys won’t know until Tuesday morning which three judges will be participating.

“We expect to win, as has been the case and the trend nationwide,” said Chris Paulsen with Indiana Equality Action “(But) we also agree that this will be an issue that's (eventually) decided in the Supreme Court.”

The state of Indiana will be up first, followed by the plaintiffs. Each side will have about 20 minutes to make its case. Camilla Taylor of Lambda Legal and Ken Falk of the ACLU of Indiana will present the arguments for the plaintiffs.

Follow Dan Spehler on Twitter for updates this week from Chicago.