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Hoosiers join rally  for gay marriage

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Updated: August 26, 2014 9:36PM



CHICAGO — Several Northwest Indiana families joined about 150 people Monday night, many wearing bright blue T-shirts with “Hoosiers In Love” printed on the front and waving rainbow-colored flags, in a rally at Federal Plaza in support of the legalization of gay marriage in Indiana and Wisconsin.

The rally was held prior to oral arguments being heard Tuesday morning in the U.S. Court of Appeals, adjacent to the plaza, in same-sex marriage cases in the two states.

Some at the rally came by bus loads, others by van or train.

“It’s unbelievable, all the support here,” said Lyn Judkins, of Chesterton, who attended the rally with her partner, Bonnie Everly. “It’s wonderful to come to a state where I can kiss Bonnie after dinner in a restaurant and no one cares.”

Illinois has legalized same-sex marriage.

Pam Eanes and Dawn Carver, of Munster, attended the rally with their daughter. They are first responders in Illinois and have protections there if either is injured or killed on the job, but they have no similar protections when they cross the border into their home state.

“When we cross the state line we basically live another life,” Eanes said. “All we want is what’s fair for everyone.”

Eanes and Carver and Judkins and Everly are plaintiffs in Baskin v. Bogan, the case before the federal appeals court that challenges Indiana’s ban on same-sex marriage.

Eanes and Carver applauded Monday as Ruth Morrison, a retired battalion chief with the Indianapolis Fire Department, spoke about how she and other first responders took an oath in Indiana to put other peoples’ lives before their own in the line of duty.

“Indiana promised to take care of our families if we die on duty. Now it’s saying we’ll take care of your families only if your spouse is of the opposite sex,” Morrison said. “I’m asking Indiana to keep its promise. It’s time for Indiana to serve and protect our families.”

Neither Martha Maust nor her son Zach Brown, of Michigan City, are part of a lawsuit, but they came to show their support for the cause. Maust said she’s written to her congressman, informing him of her support for gay marriage.

Greg Harris, the Illinois legislator who was chief sponsor of the bill that made same-sex marriage legal in Illinois, thanked the people who came from Indiana and Wisconsin to support the cause.

“We thank the people for standing up for equality, who are advocating for love, advocating for fairness and advocating for equal treatment,” Harris told the crowd.



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