LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- It is a first for the US Supreme Court. On Tuesday justices heard arguments about whether same sex couples have the right to marry and whether they should be awarded the same benefits as heterosexual couples.
Many people here in Kentuckiana are closely watching what is going on in Washington this week. From marches in Frankfort to opposition from family groups, the issue is as controversial as ever.
“I am married why can't they get married. Marriage is for everybody. I got one of these so why can't everybody,” Erica Goldsmith is referring to her wedding ring. She was at the Marriage Equality march in Frankfort Tuesday morning.
It comes as the US Supreme Court looks at a ban on gay marriage in California known as Proposition 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act that recognizes marriage as being between a man and a woman.
In Louisville couples like Mark England and Michael Handley are anxiously awaiting the high court’s decisions. They traveled to New York to get married, one of the few states were same sex marriage is legal.
“We watch Washington with hope that the Supreme Court will move Kentucky forward instead of taking us backwards,” Mark England said. “I would like to see the Defense of Marriage Act go away. Where the federal benefits no matter what state we are married in would be afforded to both to Michael and I.”
Others are watching Washington closely as well for different reasons. Peter Hayes is with the American Family Coalition and opposes same sex marriage.
“Why do we have to redefine the whole Christian sexual ethic to do that and what are the ramifications. We know the epidemic children out of wedlock has created for our society so we are just going further away from that God centered idea and I think it's important for us to take notice of that,” Hayes said.
In 2004, Kentucky voters passed a constitutional amendment that defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It passed by 75 percent of the voters.