SUPREME COURT: Minn. families await Prop 8 decision - KMSP-TV

SUPREME COURT: Minn. families await Prop 8 decision

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  • SUPREME COURT: Minn. families await Prop 8 decisionMore>>

  • Supreme Court might sidestep major ruling on gay marriage

    Supreme Court might sidestep major ruling on gay marriage

    Tuesday, March 26 2013 7:30 PM EDT2013-03-26 23:30:14 GMT
    The Supreme Court dove into a historic debate on gay rights Tuesday that could soon lead to resumption of same-sex marriage in California, but the justices signaled they may not be ready for a major national ruling on whether America's gays and lesbians have a right to marry.
    The Supreme Court dove into a historic debate on gay rights Tuesday that could soon lead to resumption of same-sex marriage in California, but the justices signaled they may not be ready for a major national ruling on whether America's gays and lesbians have a right to marry.
  • Marriage rights in Supreme Court: What's the Minnesota impact?

    Marriage rights in Supreme Court: What's the Minnesota impact?

    Tuesday, March 26 2013 3:31 PM EDT2013-03-26 19:31:44 GMT
    Lawyers argued before the United States Supreme Court on Tuesday over the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.
    Lawyers argued before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday over the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Marriage equality group Minnesotans United said the Court's ruling is unlikely to have a direct impact on the legal status of same-sex couples in Minnesota, but Minnesota for Marriage said the case - no matter the outcome - will have an impact in the state.

The Supreme Court heard opening arguments for and against California's controversial Prop 8 on Tuesday, and it's an emotional issue being watched closely across the nation, including in Minnesota.

Some have paid thousands of dollars to be able to watch the proceedings in person, but others are getting updates any way they can -- in print, on television and online.

"I think it's progress for the entire country," said Paul Melchert.

Like a lot of parents, Melchert and James Zimmerman spend most evenings watching their sons, Emmet and Gabriel; however, they are also keeping a close eye on the highest court in the country because their marriage of seven years isn't recognized in Minnesota, where they live.

"If one of us passes, what are the legal ramifications of that?" Melchert wondered aloud. "We hope we never have to find out because we don't have legal protection under the law as other married couples do."

In Minnesota, marriage equality has been a hot topic since a ballot initiative that would have established constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage failed in November, but people from across the country are watching to see what the Supreme Court will do.

In fact, some people camped out for up to a week and tickets to watch the justices hear arguments on whether or not California's voter-approved ban of same-sex marriage should be upheld were going for up to $6,000.

Now that the case is under review, the nation's highest court could do anything of the following:

Throw the case out entirely

Issue a ruling that only affects California

Strike down Prop 8 and similar bans in 39 states across the country

The historic hearings even went viral on social media, where pink and red equal signs from the Human Rights Campaign could be seen on all platforms -- especially after gay celebrities like George Takei and Lance Bass changed their profile pictures to show their support.

Yet, opponents of gay marriage say lawmakers currently awaiting a bill in Minnesota that would legalize same-sex marriage say legislators should wait to see the Supreme Court's ruling before voting here.

"It shows there shouldn't be a rush into this," said Autumn Leva, of Minnesota for Marriage. "There are so many effects of completely rewriting marriage policy and the Legislature. It should give them some pause."

As for Melchert, he said he can't wait for the day when the law will reflect what he knows in his heart -- that a family is a family no matter what it looks like.

"Marriage equality is great for everyone -- great for our state, great for our economy -- for our families," he said.

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