SCOTUS examines gay marriage; Supporters rally

Harrisburg- Two landmark cases are going before the United States Supreme Court over the next two days.  The cases will look to define marriage.  The High Court will have to decide if same-sex couples will be afforded the same rights under the law.

A rally in favor of gay marriage is slated for late this afternoon at the U.S. Courthouse in Harrisburg.  Several recent polls show that the tides seem to be turning in favor of gay marriage.  But still, these are heated social issues with two distinctive sides.  The Supreme Court is looking to set the future parameters for marriage all across the country.

Clearly defining marriage.  The Supreme Court is taking on two landmark same-sex social issues over the next two days, putting the hot-button topic in the spotlight.

“Being a gay man in America, the decision on this one could be the most impactful decision on my life personally that the Supreme Court ever makes in my lifetime,” said gay marriage supporter Jeffrey DeSoto.

Dozens of people are braving the snow and the cold, lining up outside the Supreme Court in DC.  Today, the High Court will hear arguments on Proposition 8 out of California.  Proposition 8 was a voter referendum passed in 2008 that made gay marriage illegal.  Defenders of Prop 8 are urging the court to let states define marriage.

“Respect the right of voters to decide their future, to decide something as simple as that it takes a man and woman to make a marriage,” said Brian Brown, President of National Organization for Marriage.

Before Prop 8, nearly 18,000 same-sex couples had already married.  Gay couples are looking for equal rights.

“Basically the fundamental issue is whether you have loving and committed same-sex couples to serve their country, who pay taxes, some of whom are raising families, whether they should be able to take part in fundamentally American freedom to marry,” said Marc Solomon, National Campaign Director for Freedom to Marry.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear arguments about DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.  The bill was signed into law in 1996 by President Clinton and defined marriage between one man and one woman.  The law also denies federal benefits to same-sex couples.  President Obama has recently come out against the law.

“This is certainly an issue that the President has followed carefully. There have been briefs from DOJ representing the Obama administration’s legal position on these issues,” said Deputy White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest.

A decision on these two cases is not expected until the end of the Supreme Court’s session by the end of June.

The rally tonight in Harrisburg is called the Light the Way to Justice Vigil and will start at 4:30 p.m. in front of the U.S. Federal Courthouse.