Henry Greene (left at podium) with his partner, Glenn Funkhouser and 12-year-old son, Casey Greene (wibc.com photo: Ray Steele)
Tomorrow is the day that many couples hope that a federal appeals court upholds a ruling that would let them get married legally. For several, it's a matter of their faith, a faith which runs counter to that of those who say those couples should not be able to marry.
Henry Greene and Glenn Funkhouser from Carmel are one of those couples. They have been together 23 years, but unlike many couples, they have chosen not to get married, either in another state or in Indiana during the brief period of time in June when it was legal after U.S. District Judge Richard Young struck down Indiana's ban on same-sex marriage. "Why would we, because Indiana wouldn't recognize it anyway," said Greene. "Going to another state would just relegate us to second-class citizenship. That's not acceptable."
Greene and Funkhouser were among the couples at City Market in Indianapolis attending the first of several rallies to take place between Indy and Chicago, where the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear appeals from Indiana and Wisconsin. The states are fighting separate rulings by federal judges saying each state could not bar gay couples from getting married. Attorneys general from each state argue that only state governments can set marriage laws - the 7th Circuit consolidated the appeals into one. It is one of many same-sex marriage decisions making their way through the court system, with at least one expected to land at the U.S. Supreme Court, possibly as early as this fall.
The rallies are, in part, a way to highlight churches, synagogues and other religious institutions who support marriage rights for same sex couples. "For me personally as a follower of Jesus, I believe that Jesus was all about love, embrace and justice, and equality for all people. So, I want to model that the best way that I can," said Rev. Melody Merida, pastor of Life Journey Church in Indianapolis.
For Greene and Funkhouser, the case is also about the future of their family. Their adopted son, Casey Greene, is now 12 and has been with Green and Funkhouser for 10 years - Casey is traveling to Chicago for the hearing, too, "to help my family, and others. I have to do this," he said. "I don't know what it's like (to be raised) by a straight couple. But I'd rather have a gay couple."
Henry Greene and Glenn Funkhouser of Carmel, with 12-year-old son Casey Greene (wibc.com video: Ray Steele)