CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. - The waiting continues across the nation. The Supreme Court of the United States is expected to announce its ruling in cases on California's Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage and the federal Defense of Marriage Act this week. The decisions could mark a major change for gay rights in America.
One of the major groups fighting for change, the Human Rights Campaign held its annual "Bowling for Equality" event in Cathedral City. The HRC is the largest LGBT equality-rights advocacy group and political lobbying organization in the United States. Members of the group got together for some fun as they wait anxiously on the rulings. The Defense of Marriage Act defines marriage as the union between a man and a woman. It keeps couples like Michael Amaro and Les Young from receiving federal benefits. "I can't partake in any of his benefits," said Young. "He can partake in mine but oftentimes in retirement, government funds are slightly better."
"It's absolutely the holy grail," said Andy Linsky from the Human Rights Campaign. "It's so blatantly discriminatory." The two were married five years ago in San Francisco, just months before voters passed Proposition 8, the ban on same-sex marriage in the state. The vote sparked protests and tensions between supports of the ban and members of the LGBT community. "It's sad that we have to waste dollars to drive a change, for a right that we should have," said Young.
If the judges strike down Proposition 8 and change DOMA's definition of marriage, it would mark a huge victory for the HRC. "It's going to feel like another major achievement in our long battle for full equality in the United States," said Linsky.
No matter what SCOTUS decides, couples like Amaro and Young say they vow to fight until they receive the same marriage rights as heterosexual couples in the country. "We're not giving up the ship, we're going to continue to work for this," said Young.