INDIANAPOLIS (WOWO): The Supreme Court will hear arguments on same-sex marriage today, and some of those who successfully challenged Indiana‘s gay marriage ban are in Washington. Some of the plaintiffs who went to court for the right to marry their same-sex partners in Indiana wanted to be in Washington to support those who brought lawsuits in other states.
Specifically, they are backing plaintiffs in Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee whose case the Supreme Court will consider after the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued one of the few court rulings upholding same-sex marriage bans.
“We thought we wanted to be here to see it through to the end,” said Melody Betterman-Lane, in Washington with her wife Tara. They sued Indiana to have their New York marriage recognized as legal in the state, and they won when the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling striking down Indiana‘s gay marriage ban.
Same-sex marriage is now legal in 37 states, as either court rulings or state legislatures have made the move after the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in 2014 that denied federal benefits to gay couples who had been married legally in their state of residence.
The 6th‘s Circuit decision was one of only a handful against marriage equality for same-sex couples, but supporters of same-sex marriage were not entirely surprised at the ruling. “I think most of us expected for one of the circuit courts to rule against marriage equality,” said Betterman-Lane. “We knew that had to happen for it to make it to the Supreme Court.”
The court considers the case at a time when public support for same-sex marriage continues to grow – most polls show a strong majority of Americans have no problem with gay couples getting married, with much of that support coming from younger people.
Betterman-Lane says she couldn‘t imagine being in Washington for a hearing like today‘s five or ten years ago. “I am floored by how fast this happened, and happy that my child gets to see all of this, and happy that it‘s going to be better for her generation.”