Marriage equality rally, vigil held at Houston City Hall

The view above Houston City Hall at a rally for marriage equality (Christine Dobbyn, ABC13)

March 25, 2013 7:50:40 PM PDT
Many in our area are anxious about what is considered one of the most significant days in their fight for civil rights.

Tuesday morning, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments for the first of two cases involving same-sex marriage.

A vigil and rally was held Monday night at Houston City Hall. Hundreds of advocates for same-sex marriage gathered to show their support ahead of the Supreme Court hearing.

"We would really like to say to the Supreme Court, 'We're not asking you for our rights. We're asking you to treat us equally, like you would do any other citizen,'" event organizer Tamira Augustine said.

From young couples with children...

"We're hoping someday Jenae can participate in our wedding and our relationship will be recognized the same way many of her classmates relationships are recognized," parent Nash Roth said.

To those who have been together for decades.

Dan and John Lindquist took part in a holy union 27 years ago, but still want a real wedding.

"We're still waiting," Dan Lindquist said. "I'm hopeful. I wouldn't say I'm optimistic, but I'm hopeful."

But not everyone agrees with the people holding candles here.

"I view sexuality as a moral question," one opponent told us. "I hold to a traditional view of sexuality: a man and woman in marriage."

The U.S. Supreme Court will consider two cases about the freedom to marry. One involves the Defense of Marriage Act. The other is California's Proposition 8, which examines fundamentally whether gay and lesbian Americans can have the same freedoms and opportunities as others.

"On one hand, there are technical legal arguments about precedent and the text of the constitution," said Aaron Bruhl, a law professor with the University of Houston. "There are also these deeper value questions that are involved."

Whatever the decision, it will be precedent-setting and a case where legal arguments collide with the morals of many.

"The rights of millions and millions of Americans who have voted to protect marriage over the last 15 years deserve to have those votes respected by the highest court in the land," said Thomas Peters with the National Organization for Marriage.

ABC13 reporter Christine Dobbyn will have a live report with what's at stake tonight on Eyewitness News at 10.

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