Local church prays for equality, justice ahead of gay marriage showdown

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments for and against Indiana’s gay marriage ban Tuesday.

Sunday, Life Journey Church prayed for equality as same-sex couples head to Chicago for what could lead to a new precedence for same-sex marriages in Indiana.

“This morning as people of faith we feel called to stand up and fight for justice and equality and fairness for all Hoosier families,” said Melody Merida, as she led the church in prayer.

Some of the couples at the service married out of state. Others hope to marry in Indiana someday. They all want the same recognition.

“Anna will tell anybody and everybody that she has a mommy and a mama and that’s just fine,” said Heather Boff.

Heather and Caroline Boff have a 7-year-old son, Reed, a 5-year-old daughter, Anna, and have been together for nearly 14 years. They entered a civil union 10 years ago and wed in Iowa in March. Following a June 27 ruling by U.S. District Judge Richard Young, Heather and Caroline were legally recognized as wife and wife in Indiana.

“It was pretty crazy. We contacted our lawyer to find out what that meant for us because we are legally married elsewhere already,” said Heather.

Then a stay was granted to the state about 48 hours later.

“Disappointed, but expected because that’s what they’ve been trying to do for so long,” said Caroline.

As the state’s appeal heads to the 7th Circuit Court in Chicago, the Life Journey congregation lifted their hands in prayer.

“We’re going to pray for safe travels for them and we’re going to pray for victory. We’re going to pray that equality and fairness and justice will win,” said Merida.

Supporters wrote messages of hope and strength on paper hearts to be given to the couples fighting for their equality.

Heather and Caroline say the recognition wouldn’t just declare justice for them, but also a layer of protection for their family.

“Very important. Down the line as we get older and things happen and you get sick and you want to have that legal protection for each other. Making decisions as a family,” said Heather.

Those heart messages will be handed out to the plaintiffs as they make their way from rally to rally on Monday as they journey to Chicago one day ahead of oral arguments.

Expect team coverage leading up to Tuesday’s hearing. Monday, 24-Hour News 8’s Kylie Conway will follow that series of rallies from Indianapolis all the way to Chicago. 24-Hour News 8’s Jim Shella will meet with those against gay marriage.

On Tuesday 24-Hour News 8 will be in Chicago as oral arguments begin. Look for updates on WISHTV.com.

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