PHOTOS: Marriage supporters in Indiana & Wisconsin rally before 7th Circuit hearing

This week, on August 25, the day before the landmark oral argument date at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago, marriage supporters from Indiana rallied for the freedom to marry. Check out great photos from the big day, thanks to our partners at Wisconsin Unites for Marriage and Hoosiers Unite for Marriage.

Indiana Events

The send-off festivities began this past weekend in Indiana, where people of faith came together with congregations from across the state to send well wishes to the plaintiff couples and work toward a day where all loving, committed same-sex couples are free to marry.

The following morning, marriage supporters rallied in Indianapolis and Lafayette to send off the plaintiff couples and talk about why marriage matters to all Hoosier families. In Lafayette, supporters were greeted by West Lafayette Mayor John Dennis, a Republican, former Deputy Police Chief, and one of the newest Mayors for the Freedom to Marry. He said to the crowd, "I am proud to support marriage for all Hoosiers. Too many Hoosier families are denied protections they need."

Other speakers at the Lafeyette event included plaintiff couples like Glenn & Henry, CJ & Greg, and Tara & Melody, who also all received well wishes at the event earlier that morning in Indianapolis. 

Support poured in from across the state, as marriage supporters thanked the plaintiff couples by writing on these hearts from Hoosiers Unite for Marriage. "It's your energy and support we'll take to Chicago with us!" CJ said to the crowd.

Wisconsin Events

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, simultaneous events in Madison, Milwaukee, and Racine brought together the plaintiff couples and marriage supporters from across the Badger State, as same-sex couples and families thanked the plaintiffs for their leadership and saluted the legal team at the ACLU that had already brought a historic ruling in favor of marriage in Wisconsin this year. 

Chris Ahmuty of the American Civil Liberties Union spoke out about the ruling the ACLU and plaintiffs received in their landmark marriage case, Wolf v. Walker, in June.

The plaintiffs, including Virginia and Carol - who have been together for 37 years - recalled the elation they felt when they heard that the marriage ban had been struck down in Wisconsin. 

Other plaintiffs in attendance included Judi & Katy, Garth & Roy, Kami & Karina, Joannes & Keith, Charvonne & Marie, and others. 

Chicago Event

Finally last night, August 25, supporters from Indiana and Wisconsin came together in Chicago, Illinois, where the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit is based, in order to rally together and present a united front that the entire 7th Circuit is ready for marriage.

The event kicked off with Illinois Rep. Greg Harris, who introduced the bill that brought the freedom to marry to same-sex couples in Illinois. He said, "We are here today to advocate for love... No matter what side of the state line you live on."

The event continued with people of faith, community leaders, and plaintiff couples thanking the crowd for their support and making the case that marriage matters in every state across the country. "Love cannot coexist with prejudice and injustice," one faith leader explained.

Speakers included lead plaintiffs in Lambda Legal's Baskin v. Zoeller case from Indiana, Rae & Esther. Chris Geidner at Buzzfeed has a great profile up now of Rae & Esther. Check it out here. "We need the protections only marriage can provide in Indiana," the women said. 

Bill and Dean and their children, plaintiffs in the Wisconsin case, were also rallying last night in support of marriage for all.

And a group of First Responders, plaintiff couples in Lee v. Pence, another federal suit being considered today at the 7th Circuit

It was a great, busy day of events at the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and this morning, supporters from Wisconsin, Indiana, and across the country know that the message is clear: It's time for marriage at the 7th Circuit.