Supreme Court to take up same-sex marriage case

Byby Katie Utehs KGO logo
Tuesday, April 28, 2015
Supreme Court to take up same-sex marriage case
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The United States Supreme Court Tuesday will take up a case that could legitimize same-sex marriage in all 50 states.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A group of demonstrators are holding a vigil in front of City Hall in Mountain View, supporting same-sex marriage.

People are lining-up in the nation's capital as they try to get a front row seat to history. The Supreme Court will hears arguments on the issue of gay marriage Tuesday.

There are many possible outcomes for these cases, but the Supreme Court has the potential to define marriage for the entire nation. It's something the founder of a once small gay rights law firm couldn't have imagined.

March for Marriage organizers say some 15,000 people attended the annual rally on Saturday days before the Supreme Court will hear arguments on the issue of same-sex marriage.

"One of the first times I went to court the district attorney called me honey, so that's where things were at," said John Ward, attorney and founder of Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders.

At the same time, San Francisco-based attorney John Ward prepares to watch the organization he founded in the late 70s argue before the Supreme Court.

"I don't know that I'll get through the court hearing without shedding a few tears because in a sense it's my baby," Ward said.

More than 30 years later, the two issues will be in front of the justices tomorrow.

"The first part is whether the constitution requires that states offer same-sex marriage throughout the United States,in all 50 states" Ward said.

Currently, 37 states and the District of Columbia allow same sex marriage. More than a dozen others have bans or legal cases in progress. Opponents say marriage should be defined by the states, not the Supreme Court. Those at the March for Marriage rally take it a step further.

"I believe sincerely that the people of every state should be free to uphold marriage as a union of one man and one woman," said one activist at this weekend's rally.

The second component is whether a same-sex marriage from one state should be recognized in a state that does not sanction it.

The benefits of a legally recognized marriage are tangible.

"For example, Eylan got married a year ago and that means we're able to be together before that because he's French we had to go back and forth and it was a struggle for eight years,"

Ward will be in the courtroom tomorrow as an observer, but he has argued there in the past.

"It's like practicing martial arts and having multiple opponents and they're all just kind of coming at you and you're just like back at you."

Click here for full coverage on the same-sex marriage battle.