Michiana keeps eye on same-sex marriage arguments in Supreme Cou - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Michiana keeps eye on same-sex marriage arguments in Supreme Court

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A divisive issue is taking center stage at the Supreme Court.

In two different cases, the high court will consider the powerful question of what it means to be married.

Tuesday, the Supreme Court will be hearing arguments on California's Prop 8, a ban on same sex marriages.

Wednesday, they'll take up the Defense of Marriage Act.

The issue creating so much attention, people have been lining up outside the Supreme Court since last week.

There are people on both sides who feel very strongly about the issue, including here in Michiana.

Joel Barrett and David Seymour are newlyweds. They tied the knot in New York last month where gay marriage is legal.

The couple has been together for seven years and say getting married wasn't always something they felt they had to do, until they realized what protections they didn't have without that piece of paper.

"It's very much legal and financial and all about the same things that other people have done for centuries to protect their loved ones and their families," says Seymour.

The couple is hopeful the Supreme Court will strike down Prop 8 and sections of the Defense of Marriage Act.
They say that would give them the same rights as straight couples.

"When the federal laws change, because I do believe they'll change. Then that will propel the states to really start rethinking what they're doing with all this," says Barrett.

It's obviously an issue not everyone agrees on. Those who believe marriage should only be between one man and one woman say it's a proven institution that's held up for thousands of years.

"Children who are raised by a man and woman in a stable marriage, fair and outdistance children who do not have that advantage in life," says Patrick Mangan with the Citizens for Community Values of Indiana.

Mangan says this isn't a civil rights issue. He believes unlike race, being gay is a choice.

"We see tens of thousands of former homosexuals now, coming out and living quite happily, heterosexual after they have struggled with same sex attraction," says Mangan.

Both sides of the issue agree our nation is at a crossroads and the decisions the Supreme Court makes this week could shape the future.

The seats in the high court are technically free, but they are very limited and that's why people started lining up last Thursday.

For those willing to pay, several Washington services will hold your place in line for about $45 per-hour.

The Supreme Court is expected to give its ruling in June.

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