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Battling the same-sex marriage ban — by the busload! Same-sex couples headed for Chicago

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Battling the same-sex marriage ban...by the busload! Hundreds of same-sex marriage supporters are headed to Chicago to take part in a key hearing in the legal fight over same-sex marriages in Indiana and Wisconsin.

"We're in it for the long haul," Katy Heyning said.

The long road to marriage equality in Wisconsin will wind through Chicago.

"Now we're on yet another journey -- to Chicago, to seek out justice for all of us again," Judi Trampf said.

Six of the eight couples who challenged Wisconsin's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage boarded a bus on Monday, August 25th. They're headed for Chicago, where they will listen to oral arguments before a federal appeals court.

It is a historic court hearing that could overturn the state's same-sex marriage ban.

"I always thought this was impossible," Roy Badger said.

Badger and Garth Wangemann of Milwaukee are plaintiffs in the case. Wangemann calls the same-sex marriage ban de-humanizing.

"It wasn't just a law. It was taking our constitution and adding something to it. I think that hurt worse," Wangemann said.

Governor Scott Walker and Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen are pursuing the appeal -- saying they believe the ban is legitimate.

"Both the Attorney General and I have taken an oath of office in the state of Wisconsin.  The constitution was amended in 2006, and until higher courts finally rule one way or another that the state constitution is trumped by the U.S. Constitution, it's our obligation to uphold the vote that was taken by the people," Governor Walker said.

Marie Carlson and Charvonne Kemp are also plaintiffs in the suit. They have been together for eight years.

"We live our lives as if we're married," Carlson said.

"To tell me that I can't marry the person I love, it hurts, because it's like, what did I do wrong?" Kemp said.

About 500 same-sex couples were married between June 6th (when federal judge Barbara Crabb lifted the ban) and June 13th, when Crabb halted her own ruling until the appeals process plays out.

Trampf says this journey is not only political, but also personal.

"Although people say it's political, for us, and anyone who is gay or lesbian who loves someone, it's very, very personal," Trampf said.

The Wisconsin contingent will join with busloads of supporters from Indiana for a rally in Chicago Monday night.

The hearing gets underway Tuesday morning at the federal courthouse in downtown Chicago.

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