Indianapolis officer, wife prepare to take same-sex marriage suit to Chicago

Deanna Geiger, left, and Janine Nelson, her partner of 32 years, react to news that they can get their Oregon marriage license, Monday, May 19, 2014, in Portland, Ore., following a federal judge's ruling the ban of same-sex marriage unconstitutional. (AP Photo/The Oregonian, Faith Cathcart) MAGS OUT; TV OUT; LOCAL TV OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT; THE MERCURY OUT; WILLAMETTE WEEK OUT; PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP OUT.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The legal battle over same-sex marriage in Indiana moves to the 7th U.S. Circuit Court this week.

Hundreds of people from the LGBT community will take part in rallies and travel to Chicago for the arguments.

Pam Lee is one of the plaintiffs in the case going before the 7th U.S. Circuit Court and is an Indianapolis Metro Police Department officer who took on this fight nine months ago. As she and her wife travel to Chicago to face the circuit court, she says she’s excited to complete another step of this journey toward equality.

Pam and Candy have been side-by-side for 25 years.

“Our personalities just mesh and even though we’re complete opposites in every way, shape, and form, we get along like that and we have fun,” Pam said.

They’re spending their Saturday night at home, but are preparing for a road trip to Chicago to ask a judge to recognize their marriage.

“It’s nerve-wracking not knowing what the outcome is going to be, but really excited that we’ve finally got to this point,” Pam said.

Pam is worried about something happening to her on the job. She wants her wife to be able to receive the same spousal benefits from IMPD the husbands and wives of traditional marriages would receive.

“They get financially taken care of for the rest of their life and that’s what she deserves. I pay into it just like anybody else does, so I think that we should get the same benefit and respect that anybody else does,” Pam said.

So while Pam fights crime on the streets of Indianapolis, she is also fighting for her wife.

“If I should get killed, I want her taken care of, just like my buddies on the police department, their wives would be taken care of,” Pam said.

As their case moves swiftly up the ladder, they say they’re prepared for the U.S. Supreme Court to have the final say.

“It’s just that last step before the final step and we’re looking forward to,” Pam said. “This is really another civil rights movement in our history and it’s really cool to be a part of that.”

Arguments in Chicago are set for Tuesday and will last 80 minutes. Although half of that time will be allotted to those leading the fight in Wisconsin. The Indiana and Wisconsin cases were combined earlier this month. After the arguments are presented the three judges over the case will deliberate, but a ruling on the case could take weeks or even months.

Expect team coverage from WISH-TV leading up to Tuesday’s hearing.

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